Poarch man faces sexual abuse charges

Published 3:21 pm Monday, November 7, 2011

Opening statements were heard this morning in Mobile in the sexual abuse trial of a Poarch man.

Dustin O. Raybon is accused of molesting three young boys at his home on the Poarch Creek Indian reservation over the last eight years. Raybon was acquitted of abuse charges in 2005 in a tribal court, but now faces charges in federal court.

Raybon’s trial has been fraught with controversy thus far as attorneys bicker over what is admissible, and witnesses give less than consistent testimony.

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Assistant Federal Defender Chris Knight argued testimony should be heard from a licensed psychologist that homosexuals are no more likely than others to molest children.

Attorneys for the prosecution argued the testimony to be irrelevant and implored U.S. District Judge Kristi DuBose to ban the witness. DuBose stated she would make a decision on the matter later in the course of the trial.

Also confounding today’s proceedings were inconsistencies with the testimony of the alleged victims of the abuse.

According to published reports all three young boys took the stand and an 8-year-old boy who suffers from a speech impediment, struggled to describe the details of an assault prosecutors claim happened in April of 2011.

Attorneys argued over whether or not testimony from the boy’s father could be used to enter evidence based on statements the boy made to him immediately following the incident. DuBose is expected to make a ruling prior to the father taking the stand later today.

Two other boys also testified against Raybon today, including an 11-year-old who said he was molested in 2003 at age 3. The boy told jurors Raybon followed him into a bathroom where he proceeded to touch his private area, however, during cross-examination the boy was presented with conflicting accounts he gave at a Child Advocacy Center. The boy said he had no recollection of giving a statement at the center.

The third boy, now 13, testified Raybon molested him when he was 5 or 6 by sliding his hands down the boy’s pants and touching his buttocks.

Attorneys with the defense confronted the boy with testimony he gave at Raybon’s 2005 trial claiming he was “popped” on the buttocks. When questioned further, the boy again told the more graphic version of being touched on the buttocks by Raybon.