The prosecution completed its case today against a Baptist pastor accused of child molestation by calling an expert witness who cited studies that he said undermined some publicly held "distortions" of child sexual abuse.
Anthony J. Urquiza, director of the UC Davis Medical Center's CAARE Diagnostic and Treatment Center for abused and neglected children, said it is common for children to keep their victimization secret. He said they also feel helpless about their molestation and entrapped by it. He testified it is not uncommon for them to delay reporting sexual molestation or maybe even retract their allegations after they make them.
Urquiza testified in the case of Tommy Gene Daniels, 49, the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Rio LInda. Five girls have testified in the trial that they were molested by Daniels while receiving foster care and day care services in his Citrus Heights home.
On cross-examination by defense attorney Michael L. Chastaine, Urquiza said it also is extremely rare for children to fabricate allegations of sexual abuse. He said studies have shown that only 1 percent to 6 percent of child sexual abuse allegations made to law enforcement turn out to be false.
Chastaine began his case today by calling a girl who lived in the Daniels home nine years ago. She said nothing sexually inappropriate ever happened to her there. The girl's mother also testified on Daniels' behalf, saying her daughter benefited from her stay in the home.
Daniels will testify in his own defense, Chastaine said in an interview.