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Man, 87, on trial for sex abuse faces life in prison


Man, 87, on trial for sex abuse faces life in prison

By Vishal Persaud

Staff writer

Published: Thursday, November 15, 2012 at 6:27 p.m.

Last Modified: Thursday, November 15, 2012 at 6:27 p.m.

With tears streaming from her eyes, a 17-year-old girl testified in court Thursday that her adopted father started molesting her when she was 6.

The 87-year-old man from Silver Springs Shores is standing trial this week, charged with three counts of capital sexual battery and two counts of lewd or lascivious molestation on a child in connection. His name is being withheld to avoid identifying the victim.

If found guilty of any of the charges, the man faces a maximum penalty of life in prison.

The man has denied the allegations.

On the witness stand Thursday, in response to questions from prosecutor Linda Herrick, the girl went into vivid detail about how the molestation began after she was adopted by her great aunt and that woman's husband, who is the defendant in the case.

The girl described how the man would come into the bathroom when she was taking showers and sexually molest her. The girl said this was an ongoing occurrence until she was 16.

There were other sexual encounters the girl detailed. She described one instance where she was forced to perform oral sex on the man. She said she was also forced to perform and partake in other sexually explicit activities with him.

The encounters always occurred when the girl was home alone with the man, she said.

It took nearly nine years for the girl to finally divulge the attacks to her second cousin, who eventually alerted authorities. She said she was scared to tell anyone about what her adopted father did to her, but eventually something changed.

"Somehow inside, I was just tired of it all," the girl said.

Dressed in a dark gray suit with a maroon tie, the man sat quietly between his two public defenders. His hands were folded in his lap for much of the trial. In one brief instance, he moved to wipe away tears from his eyes as his adopted daughter testified.

The trial is scheduled to continue Friday.

Contact Vishal Persaud at (352) 867-4065, vishal.persaud@starbanner.com or on Twitter @vishalpersaud.

2012 Nov 15