Jury gets abuse case

Published 5:49 pm Wednesday, November 1, 2006

By By Lisa Tindell – news writer
A jury of six men and six women began deliberations Tuesday evening after attorneys called their final witnesses and made closing statements in a case revolving around the alleged sexual abuse of a minor.
Richard &#8220Ritchie” Chavers of McCall has been charged with sexually molesting a 10-year old girl during a period of a few months during 2003, according to testimony in the case. He has been charged with first-degree sex abuse and first-degree sodomy in connection with the allegations.
Being heard at the Escambia County Courthouse, the case revolves around incidents alleged to have occurred during September and October of 2003. The girl, 8 years old at the time of the alleged incidents, testified Monday that Chavers abused her in her home when her mother was not present or out of the room for a short period of time.
Accusations of molestation in the form of fondling and sodomy as well as attempted intercourse were recounted during testimony from the victim on Monday with testimony from the child's mother and medical professionals on Tuesday.
According to professional testimony from Dr. Jimmy Adkisson during Tuesday's court proceedings, the possibility of Chavers' having intercourse with the child is unlikely.
The initial examination following the accusation was performed by Dr. Marsha Raulerson. In a report referred to in the case, the findings of the examination indicated some physical damage but it was believed to be of normal variation.
The mother of the child involved in the case took the stand during Tuesday's proceedings and testified that at no time did she ever leave her child alone with Chavers at her home.
White then questioned the mother of her knowledge of the medical examinations at the time of the allegations. She responeded she was aware of the findings of the exam and found there to be no cause for alarm in the allegations.
Closing arguments were made late Tuesday afternoon.
White also addressed the jury, saying the case had been &#8220stressful for everyone,” White said. &#8220But no more stressful for others as for Ritchie. Everybody wants to believe this pretty little girl. All Ritchie can say is ‘I didn't do it.' That is all he can say.”
The jury was scheduled to resume deliberations Wednesday morning.

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