Trial begins for Waterville phys ed teacher accused of sexual contact with student

By NICOLE HART

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - A Waterville physical education teacher is now on trial, charged with course of sexual conduct against a child in the first and second degree, which he has pleaded not-guilty to.

Jury selection wrapped up on Monday afternoon in Oneida County Court in Utica, which was followed by opening statements in the trial of David Lemery.

During the prosecution's opening statement, First Assistant District Attorney Dawn Catera Lupi, described in graphic detail, the events of the alleged incidents.

It is alleged Lemery had sexual contact with a former student between the years of 1997 and 2002. The former student, the alleged victim, said Lemery had sexual contact with her approximately sixteen times, per year, over the course of those five years. The alleged victim also said that Lemery told her not to tell anyone what happened in his office at Memorial Park Elementary School in Waterville.

Emil Rossi, Lemery's Defense Attorney, said in his opening statements that Lemery equivacally denies any and all accusations against him. Rossi even made some accusations of his own, saying that the alleged victim applied for benefits when she turned 18 in September 2010.

Then, just a few weeks later, she was at the sheriff's department filing a complaint against Lemery. The benefits she applied for were benefits for someone who has been emotionally disturbed due to an event in their life.

During both the prosecution and the defense's opening statements, both parties brought up recorded conversations between the alleged victim and Lemery.

However, both sides highlighted different things about the recordings to help boost their cases.

Rossi said that during the recorded conversations, the alleged victim didn't ask Lemery about what she accused him of. Rossi said one of the conversations centered around Lemery's health.

The prosecution told the jury, not only to listen to the conversation, but to pay attention to what they don't hear in the conversations - a denial from Lemery.

Court was adjourned at 4 p.m. on Monday, with both sides able to present their opening statements.

Court will reconvene Tuesday at 9:45 a.m. and witnesses are expected to take the stand and those recordings are expected to be played throughout the trial.

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