Curry Child Sex Trial Begins

thomas-curry-mugshotCLARION, Pa. (EYT) – Testimony began Tuesday afternoon in the Thomas Curry case in the Clarion County Courthouse.

UPDATE: Curry Found Not Guilty on all charges

Curry, 66, of Rimersburg, is accused of nearly 2,000 counts of crimes involving sexual abuse against a known child.

Assistant District Attorney Drew Welsh and defense attorney Gary Gerson spent time trying to establish the time frame for when the alleged crimes occurred.

New Bethlehem Police Department Sgt. Roger Wright and the victim’s mother testified for the prosecution.

In an eight-minute opening statement, Welsh said the state would prove that on numerous occasions, at his home in Rimersburg, Curry did sexually abuse and threaten physical harm to the victim if she told.

“Pediatric Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Kimberly Fugate will tell you of scarring in the girls’ genital area, you will hear about her being taken out of her mother’s home because of the mother’s drug use in front of the children and she was placed in the care of Thomas and Pamela Curry, and she was sexually abused by Thomas Curry in different locations in the residence,” Welsh said.

Defense attorney Gerson didn’t waste time in attacking the character of the alleged victim or her mother.

His opening was more than 20 minutes in duration, and he said his client, Curry, is “as innocent as any of the jurors or attorneys in the case.”

“We categorically deny any and all of these charges,” Gerson said. “What Mr. Welsh presents is what he relies on from others. The daughter of two drug addicts, and she is known to make wildly contradictory statements.”

“The physical exam was nearly 1 1/2 years after the girl lived with Thomas Curry. Nurse Fugate cannot connect the vaginal scarring and trauma to Curry.”

“Also, she (the girl) was rarely alone with Mr. Curry. She played sports, she had after-school tutoring, she lived with her mother for a time, she was institutionalized for many days whenever the alleged abuse was to have occurred.”

“There just weren’t the opportunities to do all these things,” Gerson said.

Gerson also said that the girl’s mother had a financial motive.

The girl’s family had filed suit against the Butler County Children and Youth Services, alleging that a caseworker was related to the Curry family, and that led to her placement with the family and the subsequent abuse.

The girl’s mother disputed the idea, saying that “I don’t give a s*#* about his money. Excuse my language.”

“What I am testifying to here today has absolutely nothing to do with the lawsuit against CYS,” the mother said. “I wanted the CYS caseworker to not be able to ruin peoples’ lives.”

The girl was living with her mother and two siblings in Butler when the girl alerted authorities of her mother’s drug abuse.

After an investigation, the children were removed from the home. The alleged victim went to live with the Currys because her father was in prison.

The girl lived with the Currys from April 2009 to June 2013. There was a period of time she returned to live with her mother in that span.

After the girl had returned to living with her mother and maternal grandmother in Butler, she was in the bathroom banging her face off the floor on November 18, 2014.

When her mother asked her what was going on, the girl then told of the alleged abuse.

The mother called Butler County CYS the next day. Butler County CYS then informed Clarion County CYS and Wright was contacted.

At that point, an investigation began, and Wright arranged for a forensic interview at Western PA Cares for Kids in Brookville on the advice of Clarion County District Attorney Mark Aaron.

Wright witnessed the interview from another room from which he could see and hear it.

The trial is scheduled to resume at 9:00 a.m. Wednesday morning.

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