Victim takes the stand in trial of Waterville teacher accused of sexual contact

By JOLEEN FERRIS

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - The now-adult victim has taken the stand in the trial of the Waterville teacher accused of having sexual contact with her while she was his elementary student.

The victim says that physical education teacher David Lemery would bring her into his office, close the door, pull down his pants, pull down her pants, and make her sit on his lap while she colored pictures. She says he did it several times a month every year she was in elementary school at Waterville from 1997-2002. The 19-year-old told prosecutors why she never spoke up until she turned 18.

"Because I was scared....that people wouldn't believe me....because he was high up in the community and people respected him and stuff," she said.

Defense Attorney Emil Rossi questioned the self-described troubled child's motives and credibility.

"You said, ' I dont' want to bother my mother with this' right?"

"Yes."

"Then when you were 18 you went back to her is that right?"

"Yes."

"And you said 'now I want to talk about it' is that right?"

"Yes."

"You didn't think it was going to bother your mother any more when you were 18 than when you were 16?"

Rossi also suggested money as a possible motive. He questioned the victim about her attempts to apply for social security disability benefits. She testified, however, that she never mentioned that she was accusing a former teacher of abusing her during the application process.

The victim testified that she, with help of Child Advocacy Center investigators, recorded both phone and face-to-face conversations with Lemery. The jury heard some of those on Tuesday. Watch the video report to hear some of the conversations.

The prosecution rested around 3:00. The defense presents their case and calls their witnesses on Wednesday, but wouldn't say if Lemery himself will take the stand.

Closing arguments will also likely take place on Wednesday and the judge told the jury if there's enough time, he may charge them and let them begin deliberations.

If convicted of most serious crime of course of sexual conduct against a child in the first degree, Lemery faces up to 25 years in prison.

What's On