A girl testified Thursday that she was taken in the dark from her Northridge home nearly 2 1/2 years ago by a man who repeatedly sexually assaulted her at various locations.
The girl — who was 10 at the time and is now 13 — told the Los Angeles Superior Court jury hearing the case against Tobias Dustin Summers that she woke up in her bed on March 27, 2013, after hearing a voice telling her to get up and feeling herself being shaken.
Summers, now 34, is charged with 16 counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child, 14 counts of oral copulation/sexual penetration with a child 10 or younger, two counts of sex/sodomy with a child 10 or younger and one count each of kidnapping, kidnapping to commit another crime, first-degree burglary, forcible lewd acts upon a child, using a minor for sex acts and possession of matter depicting a minor engaging in sexual conduct.
The girl told jurors that the voice sounded like a man’s and that she thought she could see a knife in his hand.
She said that her assailant grabbed her wrist, led her out of her room and out of a sliding glass door.
“(The) defendant still has his hand on your wrist, correct?” Deputy District Attorney Laura Knight asked the girl.
“Yes,” she responded.
“Was it still dark out?” the prosecutor asked.
“Yes,” the girl said.
The girl said she was led to an alley, where she was told to get into a car driven by another man who asked why she was along. The driver eventually got out of the vehicle after her assailant said he was going to drop her off at a fire station, she said.
She said Summers switched to the driver’s seat, drove away, directed her to move to the front of the car and sit underneath the glove compartment, then sexually assaulted her and spanked her at one point, telling jurors that he ignored her plea to stop.
“Were you crying?” Knight asked the girl.
“I don’t remember,” she said.
“Were you scared?” the prosecutor asked.
“Yes,” the girl responded.
She said she “wanted to go home” at the time.
“Did you want to be with him?” Knight asked.
“No,” the girl said.
The girl said she was driven to an area where there appeared to be moving trucks and led into one of the trucks, where she was ordered to take off her clothes.
She said she was bound around the mouth with a belt “because I was making noise.”
“I was trying to get him to stop,” she said.
She testified that she was repeatedly sexually assaulted inside the dark truck and that pictures were taken of her naked with a cigarette in her mouth.
The girl — who is set to continue her testimony Friday morning — was allegedly taken to other locations and sexually assaulted before being left near a hospital, the prosecutor told jurors in her opening statement.
Jurors will hear that Summers allegedly thought that snipers were coming to look for him after the two started hearing helicopters while inside a vacant home and told the girl to get in a bathtub and “wash the DNA off,” the prosecutor said.
He allegedly told the girl that he would kill her and her family and publish photos he had taken of her if she told anyone what had happened before he dropped her off near a hospital, Knight told jurors.
Subsequent testing didn’t find any sperm, but DNA testing determined that DNA found on the girl’s face and shorts was consistent with Summers’ DNA profile, the prosecutor said.
DNA testing also showed that hair found on one of the seats in Summers’ car “proved to be” the girl’s, and a forensic search of a laptop computer found in the room Summers rented showed searches for airline flights and “10- year-old Northridge girl found” a day after the girl’s kidnapping, Knight said.
Defense attorney Jeff Yanuck told the seven-man, five-woman jury that there was “no physical evidence of DNA” showing a sexual assault.
He said jurors would hear that the girl’s account of what occurred had changed.
“Her story is inconsistent with the facts,” Summers’ attorney said.
He urged jurors not to be “persuaded” by emotions.
“… The evidence will not show that there was a sexual assault,” Yanuck told jurors.
The girl’s mother, who was called as the prosecution’s first witness, testified that she woke up, heard noises in her daughter’s room and saw their dog trying to get at the girl’s pet hamster, then realized that her daughter was not in bed.
She said that she started screaming the girl’s name and called 911 after not being able to find her daughter. Jurors heard a recording of the woman’s emotional 911 call reporting her daughter’s disappearance.
The woman said she saw her daughter later that afternoon at a hospital with scratches and bruises, and said her daughter has subsequently needed counseling. She said she was “relieved” that her daughter was alive, and that the girl told her a few days later about details of the alleged sexual assaults.
Summers was arrested almost a month later at a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center south of Tijuana, Mexico.
Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said a $25,000 reward that was “highly publicized south of the border” led to the telephone tip about Summers’ whereabouts.
Summers has remained jailed since then.
Daniel Martinez, 31, who was charged along with Summers, was convicted last October of burglary but acquitted of the girl’s kidnapping. He was sentenced last November to six years behind bars. The prosecutor told jurors during Martinez’s trial that Martinez drove away from the scene of the burglary before leaving Summers alone with the girl.
— City News Service
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