The fate of a former Waterville gym teacher accused of molesting a student more than a decade ago is now in the hands of a jury. Deliberations in the David Lemery trial began Wednesday in Oneida County Court. Sarah Blazonis reports.
UTICA, N.Y. -- One after another, the kindergarten through fifth grade teachers of David Lemery's accuser took the stand Wednesday. The alleged victim testified the day before that they would escort her to the former gym teacher's office when he asked to speak to her. That's where she says she was molested by Lemery several times a year for five years. But each educator says they never escorted the girl.
"It would be very unusual to leave a whole classroom full of kids to escort one student. We just, we wouldn't. You couldn't do that," said Mandy Mayne, the woman's former fourth grade teacher.
But prosecutors say recorded conversations between Lemery and his accuser prove she was a frequent visitor to the office.
"Some of them don't remember, it's been awhile, but now you hear Mr. Lemery's own words: 'I had you come into my office a lot.' Those are his words, ladies and gentlemen," said First Assistant District Attorney Dawn Lupi.
The recordings were made by the alleged victim with help from investigators and played for the jury. Lemery can be heard apologizing, calling himself an idiot and saying he should drive his car into a wall. The defense says the accusations were too vague and confusing to give Lemery a chance to defend himself.
"They're going to tell you it's an admission. It's not. It's an admission of nothing. You have to go through that tape and look at it. What was David Lemery talking about?" said defense attorney Michael Spano.
The defense also reminded jurors Lemery's accuser chose to press charges two weeks after filing for Social Security benefits, claiming an emotional disturbance. Prosecutors brought up testimony from the woman saying she didn't tell officials anything about sexual abuse when applying for those benefits.
Now it's up to that jury to decide who to believe.
Deliberations are expected to continue Thursday morning.
Lemery is facing charges of course of sexual conduct against a child in the first and second degrees.