Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Sex and a Curse

By TOM CLARKPhiladelphia Daily News
A teenage girl testified yesterday that her mother and a male family friend urged her to have sex with him when she was 9 years old in an effort to lift a curse on the family.
"This was something I had to do to help the people I was close to," the 16-year-old told a Common Pleas jury yesterday. "The way I understood was that if I didn't do this, bad things were gonna happen."
Hector Ayala, 59, is charged with rape of a child and aggravated indecent assault in what allegedly began as what he said was a Santeria ritual and continued for years, eventually involving two of the girl's friends.
The girl's mother, whose name is being withheld to protect her daughter's identity, is charged with conspiracy, sexual assault and related offenses for allegedly persuading her daughter and being present during several assaults.
Under questioning from Assistant District Attorney Leslie Gomez, the girl said that she was 9 when her mother told her that she had the power to lift a curse on the family by allowing Ayala to have oral sex with her.
The girl said that the notion of a curse seemed real at the time; her mother had just lost her job and her mother's boyfriend recently had been sent to prison.
She said Ayala performed oral sex on her every day after school for a week, while her mother lay in bed next to her, holding her hand.
The girl said that her mother did not know that the sexual contact with Ayala did not end there.
Ayala told her that they needed to "finish the job," which required vaginal intercourse, the girl said.
The sex acts, which continued until she was 15, became so frequent that the two devised a code to describe the activity, she said.
Eventually, three of her friends were also pushed into sex with Ayala, who similarly misled the girls with talk of curses and impending misfortune, she said.
Ayala is charged in his alleged acts with two of those girls, who also are underage.
In his opening statement, Michael Engle, the mother's attorney, said that his client never conspired with Ayala and that the evidence against her is insufficient.
Ayala's attorney, Michael Medway, said that prosecutors have no objective evidence against his client. He also pointed to a letter the girl had written after the allegations became public, in which she claims to have lied about the entire ordeal.
Gomez said that the girl was just scared and saw the letter as a way to get her old life back. *
Source: Nubian

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