DECATUR — The jury trial of Undra L. Ingram, who is accused of sexually abusing a girl for five years until she turned 15, began Wednesday in Macon County Circuit Court.
Ingram, 42, of Decatur has pleaded not guilty to four Class X felony counts of the predatory criminal sexual assault of a child younger than 13. He also has pleaded not guilty to two counts of the criminal sexual assault of a child and three counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. If found guilty on all counts, Judge Phoebe Bowers could sentence him to a maximum of 120 years in prison.
The prosecution's case was outlined by Assistant State’s Attorney Kate Kurtz, who said the abuse began with shared bubble baths when the girl was in third grade. Kurtz said Ingram's actions increased to touching and asking the girl to wear certain clothing during the abuse, and by the fifth grade the girl was performing sex acts for Ingram and being raped.
Kurtz said Ingram used a combination of threats and the girl’s affection for him to make sure the crimes stayed “their secret.” Kurtz said the girl lived with the misery of it all until finally, after being raped in December 2014, she went to her high school office and said what was being done to her.
“Because she had had enough. Because it needed to stop,” Kurtz said.
The court heard another version of events from defense attorney Karen Root, who said the jury will hear many sordid details but no proof or independent witness testimony.
“There is no physical evidence that is going to directly tie Undra Ingram to any sexual act with (the girl),” Root said.
She said the jury was confronted with a girl who wanted to go live with a relative in Florida and was looking for a way out of the life she had in Decatur. She said the girl was far from a reliable witness.
“You are also going to hear many instances where (her) statements are questionable at best and directly conflicted in certain circumstances,” Root said. “The devil is always in the details, ladies and gentlemen, particularly when you have a situation where only two people in the whole world know the truth.”
The trial continues today.