Teen Testifies In O.C. Molestation Trial

ORANGE COUNTY, CALIFORNIA – A teenager testifying in the molestation trial of a former aide to Rep. Dana Rohrabacher said that moments before the pair had sex for the first time, the defendant acknowledged that he could get in trouble because the boy was so young.
The alleged victim, identified only as John Doe, also testified that he told Jeff Nielsen after their second sexual encounter that he wanted to find someone his own age but eventually agreed to meet a third and final time because Nielsen kept “begging” him for one more rendezvous.
The boy began testifying Monday afternoon and continued through Tuesday as Nielsen’s defense attorney pursued an aggressive first hour of cross-examination.
The trial got underway last week in a Newport Beach courtroom, four years after one of Doe’s Westminster classmates informed a teacher of the alleged relationship. That sparked the investigation that led prosecutors to charge the former aide with mol
Nielsen, 36, has denied the accusations. The case has attracted attention because of his connection to Rohrabacher (R-Huntington Beach) and other prominent Orange County Republicans who helped get him into USC law school in the mid-1990s.
Doe, now 18, was a 14-year-old high school freshman living in Westminster when he met Nielsen. His testimony was laced with “I don’t remembers” during which he pursed his lips, squinted, shook his head and seemed uncertain of his answers.
On Tuesday jurors learned that Doe has a learning disability, which he said affects his comprehension of what he hears and reads. He also was clearly embarrassed, at times shifting back and forth in his seat, lowering his head and speaking so softly that the judge, only a few feet away, had to ask him to speak up.
Over his two days of testimony, Doe said he fully expected to have sex with Nielsen on March 31, 2003, the first time the two met in person, because they had arranged the get-together through an Internet chat room for gay men interested in sexual encounters.
“That’s what the website was for,” he said.
On the way to Nielsen’s condominium 30 miles away in Ladera Ranch, Doe said, he lied about his age, exaggerating it by a year. Doe testified that Nielsen also lied about his own age, saying he was 26 when he was really 32. Before having sex, Doe recalled, Nielsen told him that “we can get in trouble because of our ages.”
The subject didn’t come up again, the boy said, until he mentioned it after their second alleged encounter, April 2. Jurors were shown a magnified copy of an e-mail in which Doe appears to tell Nielsen that “we should stop doing this now” because “I need to find someone my own age.”
Asked by Deputy Dist. Atty. Dan Hess to explain the message, Doe responded: “He was older. I knew it was wrong.”
It was that feeling, he said, that eventually led him to tell a classmate and friend, identified only as Holly, of the relationship. “I was upset with myself, and I didn’t know who to go to,” Doe said. The classmate later told authorities.
In his first hour of cross-examination late Tuesday, defense attorney Paul S. Meyer sought to highlight inconsistencies in Doe’s testimony, particularly regarding the alleged third and final encounter between him and Nielsen, April 25.
from The Los Angeles Times

Garibaldi Gay

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