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Attorneys delivered closing arguments in New London Superior Court Tuesday afternoon at the sexual assault trial of 41-year-old Harold L. “Monty” Waites.
The six-member jury began deliberating late in the day after Judge Arthur C. Hadden instructed the panel on the charges. They will resume deliberations today.
The state alleges that after a night of drinking at a friend’s house on March 26, 2011, Waites went into the bedroom where two girls, ages 9 and 10, were sleeping, and touched their private parts.
In his summation, prosecutor Lawrence J. Tytla said that the two best friends had testified truthfully and that their claims were corroborated by a highly professional police investigation and DNA evidence.
Defense attorney W. Theodore Koch III said his client is a bit loud and rough but that he has consistently told the same story. He says he doesn’t know why he went into the girls’ bedroom that night but that he did not molest them.
The two girls had reluctantly testified about the night “Monty” came into the bedroom during a sleepover and put his hands beneath their underwear. Waites was arrested almost immediately after the girls told one of their mothers about the incident.
The state had showed the jury a videotaped interrogation of Waites conducted by New London Detectives Richard Curcuro and Christopher Kramer in the hours after Waites’ arrest. The state also presented a report from the state forensic laboratory that indicates DNA swabs taken from the waistband, hip and crotch of the underwear of one of the alleged victims contains a mixture of that girl’s DNA along with Waites’ DNA and the other girl’s DNA.
Once the state rested its case, Koch called to the witness stand Ronald Anderson, a clinical psychologist from Northeast Clinical Specialists who treats people with problem sexual behaviors. Anderson testified about the potential unreliability of sexual assault disclosures from children under the age of 10 and the tendency of one child to mimic the story of the other child.
Waites testified on his own behalf, saying that police and the state were framing him. He said he had taken the drug Ecstasy that night for the first time. He said he went into the girls’ bedroom out of curiosity but did not molest them.
Waites is charged with two counts each of first-degree sexual assault, fourth-degree sexual assault and risk of injury to a minor. In taking his case to trial, he rejected an offer from the state to plead guilty in exchange for an eight-year prison sentence. If convicted, he faces decades in prison.