GREENVILLE — Larry Troutwine, age 72, of Ansonia, stood trial on 16 counts of gross sexual imposition of a child under 13, a third-degree felony, in Darke County Common Pleas Court Thursday. Judge Jonathan P. Hein presided.
The victim, a relative of Mr. Troutwine’s, who is now 17, testified that sexual conduct had been occurring between the two since the third grade. The victim disclosed the abuse to another family member over Labor Day weekend last year.
Darke County Assistant Prosecutor James Bennett elicited details of several specific instances of sexual contact between Troutwine and the victim during her testimony. Bennett also presented printouts of a nine-page text message conversation in which the victim disclosed the abuse to a relative.
Bennett called Detective Rodney Baker, of the Darke County Sheriff’s Office, to the stand. Baker testified that Troutwine’s demeanor was “irate” during their interview, and that he later learned, from a caseworker at Darke County Children’s Services, that Troutwine had requested to speak to someone there.
Tim Tyo, supervisor of the investigative unit at Children’s Services, then testified that Troutwine admitted to touching the victim inappropriately during their interview, but denied the conduct had gone any further than that.
“He said he wanted to clear things up, apologized for his behavior at the Sheriff’s office, and said he wanted to talk about where things go from here,” Tyo said.
Tyo also said the defendant described sexual activity going on between himself and the victim over a period of about four years, and that the defendant expressed remorse for his actions.
“He expressed that it was ‘damn stupid,’ to use his words, that he regretted ever doing it, and that he was sorry,” Tyo said. An audio recording of this conversation was submitted for Judge Hein to review.
A relative of the defendant testified that Troutwine expressed similar sentiments during a text message conversation.
“He said, ‘I’m sorry for what I did, and I’m taking care of it by going six feet under,’” she said.
Attorney Alex Pendl appeared for the defense. Pendl challenged police and Children’s Services investigators for not doing more to pin down the exact dates of the alleged offenses, and argued there were inconsistencies in the victim’s testimony in that regard.
During closing arguments, Pendl stated there was no physical evidence of abuse, and no evidence outside the victim’s testimony to prove the abuse occurred before the age of 13.
“The court is left with a classic he-said/she-said situation,” Pendl said. “Which in and of itself should provide reasonable doubt.”
Judge Hein adjourned for the day without rendering a verdict. He stated the verdict would be announced March 1 at 1 p.m.
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