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The Honorable Judge Kathleen Lewis now presides over a difficult trial in which an Escondido man has been accused of child-rape. Defense claims the case is the result of an ugly divorce and child-custody battle.

In opening statements, defense attorney Bradley Patton aggressively attacked the credibility of the accuser. “She lied a lot, about a lot of things.”

The alleged-victim is now 19 years old, the man she accuses is 38. He pleads not guilty to 22 felonies, each a separate count of alleged child rape.

Defense attorney Patton said the accuser is “a teenager who is highly conflicted about boys.” He claims to have as evidence the diary of the accuser, written during the timeframe of the alleged criminal acts in 2008 and 2009 and 2010. The defense attorney said the detailed entries in the diary do not match statements the girl made later. Certain dates and times and places where the teen later claimed abuses happened can be contradicted by the calendar or the girl’s own diary, according to the defense attorney.

The attorney told the jury the girl was hiding a “forbidden” relationship she had with a 19-year-old man when she was 16, and that this is documented in her diary. The “forbidden” young man is characterized as a drug addict and thief who had a sexual relationship with the girl.

Prosecutor Tracy Prior said she has incriminating recordings of phone calls between the man who is now on trial, and his accuser.

A jury in San Diego’s North County courthouse began to hear testimony in the troubling case yesterday, May 23, 2013. The trial before Honorable Judge Kathleen Lewis is expected to continue next week.

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