Man pleads in sex abuse

Published 9:37 pm Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A Poarch man on trial for sexually abusing three young boys over the last eight years pled guilty Tuesday to molestation charges circulating around one of the boys.

Dustin O. Raybon’s plea ended his trial early in federal court in Mobile, as he pled guilty to sexual contact with a child younger than 12.

The plea came following opening statements and testimony from the prosecution’s witnesses, including the three young alleged victims, Monday.

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Raybon stood accused of molesting the boys at his home on the Poarch Creek Indian reservation beginning in 2003 and ending as recently as April of this year.

Raybon was acquitted of abuse charges in 2005 in a tribal court, but still faced charges in federal court.

The trial was fraught with controversy from the beginning as attorneys bickered over what was admissible, and witnesses gave less than consistent testimony.

According to the Mobile Press-Register, 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, the newspaper reported. DuBose stated she would make a decision on the matter later in the course of the trial.

Also confounding Monday’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 also 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.

Two other boys also testified against Raybon Monday, 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.

Raybon, who initially stood to be sentenced to 30 years to life, agreed to a plea bargain in which his sentence would be drastically reduced in exchange for pleading guilty to the molestation of the then 3-year-old boy in 2003.

Raybon is expected to be sentenced to around two and half years in prison. He will also be required to register as a sex offender for the remainder of his life.