Videotaped interview with defendant played during CO's sexual abuse trial


UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - Perhaps as damning as the testimony from the two young victims, age 10 and 12, were the words coming out of the 50-year-old defendant's own mouth, in a videotaped interview with state police investigators.

Former long-time local correction officer Donald Hughes, of Floyd, faces sexual abuse charges regarding the two girls, whose lives he's been in since birth and who knew him as, "Poppy."

Day Three of Hughes' trial took place in Oneida County Court in Utica on Wednesday.

The girls took the stand on Tuesday, one testifying that Hughes touched her chest both over and under her shirt; the other, describing in detail how she claims Hughes made her touch his penis.

On Wednesday, jurors saw a videotaped interview between defendant Hughes and an investigator from the Child Advocacy Center in Utica and Hughes and a state police investigator. In it, Hughes admits guiding the 10-year-old's hands down his pants.

Hughes: "For an instant..."

State Police Investigator: "How did her hand actually get down your pants?"

Hughes: "It was...not forceable but, just, worked down to it."

State Police Investigator: "Your hand guided her down?"

Hughes: "Somewhat, yes. It was nothing pleasurable."

Hughes, who earlier in the interview disclosed that he was impotent, said that perhaps it was some sort of test to see if he could still become aroused.

He also suggested that students are warned so much in school about bad touches, that perhaps it creates a neurotic fear of any kind of touching. He added that he did not disagree with the fervor with which children are warned about bad touching.

Hughes cried during parts of the videotaped interview. The mother of one of the alleged victims rocked back and forth and cried while Hughes described placing the child's hands in his pants.

Hughes and his attorney will hear all of the prosecution witnesses before deciding whether or not Hughes will testify on his own behalf.

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