3 p.m., Sept. 18
Trial begins for California firefighter accused of abuse
Raul Licon Jr. pleads not guilty to six felony counts
Testimony began yesterday in the trial of a California firefighter accused of abusing a boy in his care over a two-year period, starting when the child was fourteen, in 2009.
The accuser is now a young man of 18 years, who appears to have grown taller than his alleged abuser. Raul Licon Jr. is described as 5 feet 9 inches tall and 165 pounds, according to investigators’ statements.
The alleged sexual abuse victim was the first person called to the witness box in San Diego’s North County Superior Courthouse, the morning of July 9, 2013.
The abuse happened in a San Marcos home and on family vacations, according to the alleged victim. Prosecutor Matt Greco said technicians gathered sperm and DNA where the boy directed them, and that this evidence does incriminate Licon.
Thirty-nine-year-old Raul Licon Jr. is vigorously defended by privately retained counsel Rick Layon, who paints a picture of a troubled teen who resented household chores and being told to turn down his music. Attorney Layon challenged the credibility of the accuser, suggesting the boy had a “grudge” against Licon and that his abuse claims are “fantasy.”
The alleged victim said he became suicidal in the year 2011, “because I felt trapped” and “I couldn’t get out of the events and they kept occurring.” He said that he carved the words MISERY and FREAK into his own body using a box cutter, and it was after he was taken to hospital that he first revealed the alleged sexual abuse.
Raul Licon Jr. was arrested in March 2012; he immediately posted $250,000 bond and has been at liberty since.
A jury of 5 men and 7 women is expected to get the case to deliberate sometime next week. The Honorable Judge Richard Mills has denied news requests to photograph or record during trial. (Photos are from a preliminary hearing for this case, in the same courthouse, a year ago.)