Former lawmaker Juan I. Tenorio took the witness stand in Superior Court yesterday and denied sexually abusing the girl who now accuses him of molesting her in May 2010 when she was still a minor.
The 64-year-old Tenorio cried on the stand, stating how the allegations embarrassed him and caused him “great pain and mental anguish.”
Tenorio acknowledged accidentally touching the girl’s breast with his right hand as he was focused on a mixed martial arts fight on TV and she sat beside him on the couch’s arm and had leaned forward.
The former lawmaker also denied allegations that he massaged the girl and touched her privates, saying he never massaged any children except for his son when he massaged his ankle when it had a sprain or had hard muscles due to playing baseball.
Tenorio’s lawyer, Robert T. Torres, soon rested the defense’s case after his client’s testimony.
Associate Judge David A. Wiseman ordered the jurors to return today, Friday, at 9:30am, for the continuation of the trial.
It was not clear whether the prosecution will be allowed to present a rebuttal witness, who is based in the U.S. mainland.
The government rested on Wednesday after assistant attorneys general Margo Brown and Chemere McField called their fourth witness.
Tenorio testified that he was in the living room and was watching TV around 7pm when the girl sat beside him on the left arm of the couch.
Tenorio said the girl shook his back to ask for money for school snack, but he was not paying attention. He said he told the girl to wait as he was watching the fight and that his right hand accidentally touched her left breast.
He said he saw the child holding her breast.
“I told her, ‘I’m sorry. Don’t do that next time!’” Tenorio said.
When he told her he would not give her money, Tenorio said the girl turned her back and mumbled something.
In response to Torres’ questions, Tenorio denied massaging the girl and touching her privates.
Tenorio stated that after he was charged, he stopped all the things that he had been doing all his life for his family. He paused for a moment, said “excuse me,” and then sobbed. Some family members who were in the courtroom were also in tears. His teary-eyed daughter stood up and left the courtroom.
He said he does not visit his family anymore, could not see his friends, and is ashamed when goes to work. “I lost 28 pounds!” he added.
Torres asked him again if he sexually abused the girl.
“No, sir!” the former lawmaker replied.
Before Tenorio, Torres called three witnesses yesterday, including the defendant’s 19-year-old daughter.
After the father of the alleged victim completed his testimony yesterday, Torres called to the witness stand their second witness, former police officer Belinda Villanueva.
Villanueva testified that she was assigned at the Department of Public Safety’s front desk when the alleged victim and her mother and another female companion came on Dec. 31, 2012, to file a complaint of sexual abuse of a minor against Tenorio.
Villanueva said she took the girl and her mother to a briefing room where she interviewed them.
Villanueva said the girl told her that Tenorio touched her privates at a residence in As Matuis.
In response to Torres’ questions, Villanueva said no one from DPS, Division of Youth Services, and Office of the Attorney General took her notes about her interview.
After Villanueva, Torres called to the witness stand Tenorio’s daughter and another former police officer.
The girl, who is now 14, testified on Tuesday that Tenorio massaged her and then touched her privates in 2010 when she was just 11.
It was the mother of the girl who reported the alleged sex abuse to DPS, DYS, and OAG after child disclosed the matter to her at a church in Gualo Rai in December 2012.
Tenorio is on trial on charges of sexual abuse of a minor in the second degree, assault and battery, and disturbing the peace.