DECATUR – In the second day of the jury trial of Elroy Mitchell for predatory criminal sexual assault of a child and aggravated criminal sexual abuse, the victim was cross-examined Tuesday by Mitchell's defense attorney for nearly two hours.
Mitchell, 54, is facing up to 60 years in prison if convicted on one of eight Class X sexual assault counts for crimes that allegedly occurred in Decatur from April 2009 to April 2015.
The alleged victim, now an adolescent girl, had testified Monday that Mitchell repeatedly assaulted or abused her, beginning when she was 7.
Her story did not significantly change during questioning by Assistant Macon County Public Defender Scott Rueter, who asked her to recount details of numerous incidents.
Rueter questioned her about one incident in which she recalled that Mitchell put his hand down her pants but did not reach in from the front, “not that time.”
When Rueter asked if she had previously reported one of the aspects of that incident, she responded, “No, I probably didn't include so much detail. I'm pretty sure I said he had his hand in my pants.”
The victim said she did not know how many times she was abused by Mitchell in his apartment on Wellington Way, but when Rueter pressed her on it, she said it was “most likely” more than 20.
Under cross-examination, the victim revealed new information to the jurors about Mitchell's assaults, including how he came to her home regularly in the early morning on school days, when other residents were gone.
“Most of the time, he would come in and he would take off one of his pant legs and one of mine,” the girl testified. “He would put me on top of him or he would be on top of me.”
She said there would regularly be contact between their private parts during those sessions.
The girl acknowledged that she had lied to a relative, concealing that Mitchell was giving her money.
“Why did you lie?” Rueter asked.
“Because that would raise suspicions about us having sexual action,” the girl said.
“You lied to protect (Mitchell)?” Rueter asked.
“Mostly to protect myself,” she said.
Under redirect examination by Assistant State's Attorney Kate Kurtz, the girl said relatives already suspected she was involved with Mitchell and taking money would add to their suspicions.
Two teens, a cousin and friend of the victim's, testified that she told them about the abuse and told them not to tell anyone. The cousin said he saw Mitchell pick her up and drop her off at the school bus stop before the bus arrived.
The trial resumes at 9 a.m. Thursday in Macon County Circuit Court.