A child psychologist testified Wednesday that she diagnosed two children with sexual abuse as the prosecution wrapped up its side in a child sex trafficking case.
Maria Mercedes Vasquez-Quiroz and Digno de Jesus Maria face multiple charges, including rape, child molestation and trafficking a person for sexual servitude.
“(The girl) said that Maria would be the one to open the door when the men came in order to hurt her, as she says,” clinical psychologist Roselynn Miller said. “(Vasquez-Quiroz) would then leave and go into the kitchen to cook, while the men would take her back either to the bedroom or to the couch to rape her.”
The girl’s Division of Family and Children Services’ caseworker Danielle Finnemore also took the stand Wednesday, discussing what the girl said during her time with DFCS.
Finnemore said the girl told her that Vasquez-Quiroz would walk her down to “meet the man in the car and put (the girl) in the car and send (her) away with him in the car.”
A cousin of Vasquez-Quiroz provided documentation of a visit to the hospital in December 2012, which Vasquez-Quiroz’s attorney Tom Csider wanted to bring up during cross-examination to show his client had concerns for the girl.
While the jury was on a lunch break, Sachdeva argued to have the document dismissed as “self-serving hearsay,” while Csider said he wanted to ask whether Finnemore knew about the document.
Attorneys began talking over one another when Superior Court Judge Jason Deal slammed the bench.
“When I say stop, I mean stop,” Deal said.
Csider was allowed to ask about Finnemore’s knowledge of the document, but it could not be entered into evidence.
During her testimony, Miller said she initially diagnosed the girl and a 2-year-old boy also involved in the case with an adjustment disorder and sexual abuse.
The girl, now 7, testified via Skype on Tuesday, telling the jury what she remembered regarding the allegations.
“Really part of the goal of therapy is to help children heal from the trauma, and part of that healing allows children to forget some of the really painful aspects of the trauma,” Miller said regarding gaps in the girl’s memory.
Mejia and Vasquez-Quiroz both chose not to testify when asked Wednesday afternoon. Mejia’s attorney Lee Parks, who had declined to give his opening statement earlier, again declined to do so as the case moved toward closing arguments.
The jury will return at 9:30 a.m. today to hear those closing arguments and instructions before deliberating.