Jurors in a Taylor County juvenile court jury trial did not find a teenage girl guilty of sexual assault because she didn’t tell the courts immediately of the assault in a case where no charges were filed.
The five-member jury deliberated about 20 hours before finding 9-year-old Giselle Valdez guilty Tuesday of first-degree sexual assault of a child in the early morning hours of Nov. 2, 2015, according to the Taylor County Attorney’s Office.Advertisement
Jurors heard from Valdez’s therapist in July as part of her defense.
The Jefferson Parish District Attorney’s Office filed a request in juvenile court in August to obtain fetal information in the case, as the rape victim was the only witness and there was no evidence that there was anything wrong with her life at the time.
The court ultimately ruled that an indictment did not include a fetal report, saying that the report was contained in the criminal files, not in the court’s possession. The judge was told at the time that the doctor who provided the fetal information was instructed to file an affidavit with the court to describe the child’s condition before making the decision.
The Jefferson Parish prosecutor asked the J.P. Morgan Chase to pay the child’s medical expenses and indemnity to the victim’s family and the victim’s attorney.
That attorney said that Jefferson Parish prosecutor’s office initially believed that the girl was mentally and physically able to testify, but that she did not, and it became apparent after she identified the alleged attack after a second party intervened.
The girl told the court that Valdez went into her bedroom while she was sleeping and sexually assaulted her for approximately two hours, which the prosecutor argued was sufficient time to keep her from cooperating with the defense.
Valdez denied that she attacked the girl, saying she could not remember what happened, the prosecutor argued.
The jury acquitted Valdez after deliberating for one hour.
Under Iowa law, a 15-year-old cannot be charged with raping anyone younger than 16, and therefore, the jury took 10 minutes to find Valdez guilty on all counts.
The trial ended after just 30 minutes before noon.
The girl admitted during the trial that she had accidentally choked the girl, dragged her down and sexually assaulted her, according to court records.
The girl also said that she planned to tell her mother if charges were filed, but she said that the mother of a juvenile sister also threatened her against telling the court.AlertMe