I didn't post a thread on this case but it has not been off my mind this week. I know this man through friends and family in our town. He's a gifted actor. He works with kids. He's a dad. He's also accused of sexually assaulting a young girl after a cast party last year. We've all been waiting for his trial. What happened in this trial, however, should NEVER happen again, IMO. I was totally appalled that the DAs office and the judge and the Children's Advocacy Center did not throw a hissy fit. I know I did when I read about the shenanigans pulled by the defense. A trial is traumatic for any child. They are compelled to answer the most invasive and embarrassing questions and to relive their abuse. I've done my time in that courtroom with a different judge and different attorneys. I know that children can be assertively questioned while still preserving their dignity. I behaved myself in our trial. However, I don't know how this mother did. I was pleased to see that I'm not the only one upset. Consider how you would feel if this were your 10 year old called to testify against a man who had assaulted her. The first article was before a verdict. http://www.dailytidings.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110520/NEWS02/105200305 Verdict expected today on sex abuse Ashland actor accused of touching 10-year-old girl May 20, 2011 "A Jackson County jury is expected to decide today whether an Ashland actor is guilty of a Measure 11 sex abuse crime in which he allegedly kissed and nuzzled a 10-year-old girl during a party at his home. The last day of testimony in his trial included bedroom reenactments and ended with a conflicting laundry list of affirmations for the defendant's character as well as allegations he had a pattern of making advances toward young girls. Sunshine Sweetwater Bucy, 38, faces a single charge of first-degree sex abuse for inappropriate and illegal contact with a 10-year-old girl. The alleged acts happened during a party..." and "...[Assistant DA, David] Orr was asking the jury to believe the child when she told her mother, and the jurors, that Bucy had kissed her on the lips, nuzzled her neck, touched her upper thigh and tried to unzip her sweatshirt on that summer's night in an upstairs bedroom at Bucy's apartment. Bucy's defense attorney, Peter Carini, called the girl, whom he repeatedly characterized as precocious and attention-starved, to the stand. Carini had Bucy's bed set up in the courtroom. He asked the girl to stand next to the bed and direct Carini into the position Bucy was in during the alleged abuse in an effort to discredit her....." and "....Carini also had the girl's 6-year-old brother demonstrate what he'd seen that night. And Carini repeatedly said during trial and in closing that the child's mother was unbalanced, delusional and vindictive. "The world this child lives in is the world created by her mother," Carini said...." more at link The article goes on to report that a number of young women testified about Bucy's creepiness and sexual advances. It also states that the case has gone to the jury. We learn the very next day that the jury deadlocked 6/6 and that Mr. Bucy will be retried in June. My thoughts, however, are consumed by the child's experience. Then this today: http://www.mailtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110526/NEWS/105260312 Mattress display outrages mother, advocates Defense attorney says use of bed to question victim perfectly legal May 26, 2011 "Setting up a bed in a Jackson County courtroom during a recent sex abuse trial involving a community theater actor and a young girl crossed the line from testimony to traumatization, said the alleged victim's mother and child advocates. "I am ashamed that such a shameless maneuver would be allowed in a court of law," said Marlene Mish, executive director of the Children's Advocacy Center...." and "....Carini defends his actions as both constitutional and legally necessary to defend his client. "The Constitution says you have a right to confront your accuser, whether they are 90 years old or 3 years old," Carini said. The mother expressed shock that Circuit Court Judge Tim Barnack allowed the bed in the courtroom and compelled her child to testify while standing next to it. She also is frustrated that Deputy District Attorney David Orr did not object to Carini's questions...." and "Ashland police Detective Carrie Hull said the girl was shaking and clutching a doll to her chest during Carini's questioning. A younger sibling, a 7-year-old boy, also was questioned by Carini about the bed and what he saw that night, she said. Carini said he simply asked the child to step down from the witness box, then questioned her about specific positions she and Bucy were in during the alleged abuse while Carini laid on the bed..." and "....Carini denied that the girl, whom he characterized as attention-starved and precocious, was upset by his questions, or by the bed display. The girl's "ruse" of holding the doll to her chest was an "act," he said. Carini blames the mother, whom he described during the trial as vindictive and mentally ill, for fostering the girl's allegations...." more at link Am I the only one having trouble with my blood pressure after reading about this travesty? I'm at least pleased that the DAs office initially objected but he seemed to not interrupt any of the questioning. I'm also appalled that the defamation of the child and her mother occurred while she was present. She's 10 years old!! How in the heck is her mother going to get her back into that courtroom next month? I can't imagine how I would have reacted if our family's back patio, the neighbor's chicken coop or the school bathroom radiator would have been recreated in the courtroom 12 years ago when my children testified. Actually, that's not true as yes I can. Now is it clear why so many children don't report and why many parents refuse to allow their children to testify? I am NOT happy with Judge Barnack.