A man accused of sexually assaulting a 9-year-old girl testified on Monday before Superior Court Judge Anita Sukola. Nicanor Laudato, 68, told the court that he arrived at the apartment where the girl lived with her mother and siblings about midnight on the night of the alleged crime in April of 2015. Laudato said he drank about 12 or 14 bottles of beer and then passed out on the couch. He said he awoke the next morning and took the children to school.
According to court documents the girl said Laudato removed her clothes and sexually assaulted her. She later told authorities Laudato made her sexually touch him.
'I am a soft-hearted guy'
Laudato said he met the girl’s mother when she was working at a bar he frequented. He said he helped her financially, including renting an apartment for her.
“I am a soft-hearted guy,” he told the court.
When asked by his defense attorney Samuel Teker if he had been in a romantic relationship with the victim’s mother, Laudato said “No,” but said he did have a sexual relationship with her.
Laudato was married at the time and said his wife knew about the relationship.
“She let me,” Laudato said of his wife.
‘No, I never hit her’
The girl’s mother had previously testified that Laudato raped and beat her, a claim he denied on the stand.
“No, I never hit her,” he said.
Police documents say the defendant indicated, when asked, that he might have fondled the victim's genital area and breast, but that he doesn't remember because he was too drunk.
Girl’s mom testifies for defense
The girl’s mother was also called to testify as a witness for the defense on Monday. Earlier in the trial she had testified as a witness for the prosecution. Assistant Attorney General Peter Santos is prosecuting the case.
Teker asked the girl’s mother about previous accusations of abuse she’d made against other men with whom she’d been involved. He also asked why her daughter had stopped attending counseling at Healing Hearts Crisis Center.
“She’s only a child. She is confused. She is scared,” the mother said.