Man convicted of molesting boy
A Granite Falls man was convicted Friday in Caldwell Superior Court of charges that he molested a 9-year-old boy in 2010.
Kelsey Saxton Trumble, 22, of Birch Street was babysitting the boy at the boy's 6-year-old sister at his own mother's house in August 2010 when the incident was alleged to have occurred. Trumble's mother normally was the babysitter for the two children, while their mother was at work. That week Trumble's mother was in Alabama visiting relatives, so Trumble was asked to take over.
The boy told investigators in September 2010 that Trumble tickled him and several times touched his genitals, both over his clothes and directly on the skin.
Detective Shelly Hartley of the Caldwell County Sheriff's Office testified during the trial that when she questioned Trumble in September 2010, he admitted tickling the boy and touching his genitals while his shorts were on, and then touching the boy's genitals while the boy's shorts were off. Hartley said Trumble admitted fondling the boy five times, said he felt disgusted with himself, and said he would have stopped if he had known the boy didn't want it to go that far.
During closing arguments Thursday, defense attorney Michael Correll tried to poke holes in the state's case, pointing to inconsistencies between what the boy said in 2010 and what he testified to in court during the trial, including that in one statement four years ago the boy said he was molested before his birthday, which is in mid-June, when it would not have been possible for Trumble to be alone with him.
“If that child was touched before his birthday, it wasn’t him (Trumble) who did it,” Correll said.
Correll also questioned why there was no testimony by the boy’s sister, who was in a living room that shared a wall with Trumble’s bedroom during the time that the incidents were alleged to have happened.
“We don’t know what she was asked (by investigators) or what she said or saw,” Correll said.
Assistant district attorney Dawn Tutterow said there were inconsistencies in a number of stories, including Trumble’s statements in 2010 and his testimony during the trial, and the jury had to evaluate those based on the credibility of each person.
“Who do you believe in this case?” Tutterow asked the jury. "Who has reason to lie to you in this case?"
She said that in his testimony, Trumble disputed only those parts of Hartley’s notes from their 2010 interview that implicated him, especially that he did actually touch the boy’s genitals.
"Anything that hurts him, Mr. Trumble says he didn’t say,” she said.
Trumble was convicted of taking indecent liberties with a child. He was sentenced to 90 days in the Caldwell County jail, ordered to spend three years on supervised probation, and must register as a sex offender for the next 30 years. He also must attend court-ordered therapy sessions and submit to random lie-detector testing.
Before Trumble was sentenced, the boy's mother addressed Judge Robert T. Sumner and expressed a desire both for Trumble to be held accountable and for him to receive counseling.
“This man did it,” she said. “He’s done it before. He needs help. He has his whole life ahead of him.”
Trumble told Sumner, “I’m willing to take the help.”
"But I turned myself in, I didn’t go hide and have them come after me. I tried to be as helpful as I can," he said. "That should say something for my character.”