Child Testifies She Has No Memory of Sexual Abuse

By Trish Mehaffey, Reporter

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - A 9-year-old girl testified Tuesday that she didn't remember being sexually abused between the ages of 3 and 5 years of age.

She was asked by a prosecutor and a defense attorney about James Olds, who is on trial this week for sexual abuse of the child, and the graphic details she relayed to a St. Luke's Hospital Child Protection Center interviewer in 2011 but she had no memory of it.

First Assistant Linn County Attorney Nick Maybanks asked her if Olds told her it was "secret" between them.

The third-grader said she didn't remember it.

Olds is charged with second-degree sexual abuse, exploitation of a minor, lascivious acts with a child, indecent contact with a child, lascivious conduct with a minor, false imprisonment and indecent exposure. He is accused of sexually abusing and exploiting a girl between 2008 and 2010, when she was 3 to 5 years of age.

The trial continues at 9 a.m. Tuesday in Linn County District Court. The videotaped interview will be played for the jury Wednesday. The trial should wrap up Friday.

The child was soft spoken but didn't seem to hesitate or be confused by the questions.

Sixth Judicial District Marsha Beckelman asked before she testified if she knew the difference between the truth and a lie and she explained the difference and said she would tell the truth.

The girl said she didn't remember much about Olds. She thought they watched television together.

Maybanks said in his opening statement that the girl didn't remember "the unspeakable acts" but the jury would be able to watch her videotaped interview conducted in 2011 when she did disclose the abuse. He said she was lucky she didn't remember and that she survived to be a "happy and healthy" child today.

John Jacobsen, Olds' attorney, said during his opening that the charges are based on a "consistent, inconsistent story." The girl told a story one day to her mother and the mother never asked her more questions or questioned Olds about the claims.

The girl's mother testified the most difficult thing to watch was her daughter demonstrating what happened to her.

"I had to go to the bathroom and cry," the mother said.

The mother called the Department of Human Services to report it, and they told her to call the police. Then an interview was set up at the Child Protection Center.

The mother said her daughter had nightmares or bad dreams and she was afraid of running into Olds.

Jacobsen on cross-examination asked her if she ever talked to Olds about the allegations.

The mother said no. She did see him in Marion at a stoplight after he had been charged. She said his hands were making a motion around his wrists that he didn't have handcuffs and then he made a motion like tying a rope around his neck.

"Did you make eye contact with him?" Maybanks asked.

She said yes.

The girl's father testified Olds told him if he found out the girl's mother was the one who started this investigation "she would be sorry."
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