Published Tue, Mar 5, 2013 11:17 am Dateline
Updated Wed, Mar 6, 2013 10:07 am
UPDATE 5:00 p.m. The grandmother of two alleged victims of a 76-year-old Glouster resident gave her testimony earlier this afternoon.
She told the Athens County Common Pleas Court she was the first person to know about Thomas Shifflet's alleged unwarranted advances toward the girls, who were 10 and 13 at the time.
Upon hearing the news she said, "Don't say a word."
Later that evening she informed the girls' parents of what had happened. The parents responded by filing a police report with the Athens County Sheriff's Office.
The court will reassemble tomorrow morning with the prosecution calling new witnesses to the stand.
UPDATE 12:15 p.m. A judge has denied the defense's motion for a mistrial in the case of a 76-year-old Glouster man facing five counts of sexual molestation.
John Lavelle, defense attorney, asked Judge Michael Ward for a mistrial before parting for recess. After cross-examining today's witness, he said the prosecution left out some pertinent information.
Lavelle made the motion after today's 13-year-old female witness testified that she initially felt as if Thomas Shifflet's actions were "an accident". Lavelle claimed the State should have informed the defense about that and any other material relative to guilt or punishment before the trial.
During cross-examination, the defense continued to press the witness on details of the days in question, pointing out her lack of memory of the days' events and questioned why it took so long for the alleged victim and her grandmother to tell anyone about the incident.
One of the alleged victims of a Glouster man charged with sexually assaulting five young girls gave her testimony to a jury Tuesday morning.
The teenager testified via closed circuit television from a separate room at the Athens County Common Pleas courthouse.
The 8th grader told the jurors about the incident in which she says Thomas Shifflet, 76, “rubbed her private parts for three minutes” during a drive back from a Golden Corral restaurant back in the summer of 2010.
The alleged victim said she was afraid no one would believe her allegations because Shifflet was a long-time family friend.
"I thought people would think I was just a kid with a wild imagination," she said.
Shifflet is charged with three counts of gross sexual imposition, one count of rape and one count of sexual imposition.