Defense attorney Patricia Cummings spent much of Thursday questioning the way a Cedar Park police detective approached the case against Greg Kelley, a former Leander High School football star accused of molesting two 4-year-old boys.
In testimony that spanned about four hours, Detective Chris Dailey acknowledged deleting emails related to the boys’ allegations of abuse, and said he decided not to investigate the physical layout of the Cedar Park day care where the alleged abuse occurred last year, or gather information about other adults or children at the facility.
Dailey also described how he stepped in to question one of the boys who had told his parents he was molested but denied the accounts from two trained counselors at the Williamson County Children’s Advocacy Center. Cummings questioned whether Dailey properly conducted the interview with the young boy.
“When you do it, you actually have a gun on your hip?”Cummings asked.
“Yes,” replied Dailey.
“How many seconds do you think you spent building rapport with him before you started asking him about allegations against Greg?” Cummings asked.
“I didn’t attempt to build rapport,” Dailey said.
“So essentially, in a nutshell, you said ‘How come you’re not telling us what you told your parents about what Greg did to you?’ ” Cummings asked.
“I don’t believe that’s exactly what I said,” Dailey said. “I don’t remember.”
According to other testimony in the trial, the child told Dailey that Kelley had sexually abused him. When he took the stand Wednesday, however, that boy answered “no” to all questions about whether he might have been molested.
Waco psychologist Lee Carter testified Thursday that people interviewing children about sexual abuse need to establish rapport and ask questions that are as “open-ended as possible.”
Carter also said that it was “OK” to ask a child a question such as “I understand you have said something about somebody that is of concern; I’d like to ask you if that’s true.”
Kelley, 19, is on trial this week on charges of aggravated sexual assault and indecency with a child by contact. The state will finish presenting its witnesses Friday.
Jurors heard from both accusers on Wednesday. While the one boy testified he wasn’t molested, the other boy described in graphic detail how he was sexually abused at the in-home day care in Cedar Park.
Kelley temporarily lived there with a classmate whose family ran the day care because his own parents were in the hospital. His father had suffered a stroke, and his mother had a brain tumor.
There is no physical evidence in the case. Dailey, the detective, said he believed both boys’ allegations of abuse.
“As a result you believed you did not need to investigate the possibility of something else having happened?” said Cummings.
“Correct,” Dailey said.
He acknowledged deleting many emails in the case, though he did not explain why. Dailey said if the email had an attachment, “a lot of times I will take the attachment off and put it into the report.”
“Isn’t the policy in your department not to destroy documents produced in an investigation?” said Cummings.
“Correct,” Dailey said.