A Lowndes County jury heard opening arguments and the victim”s testimony Monday in the trial of a former head of security at Columbus Air Force Base accused of sexually abusing his then-11-year-old stepdaughter.
Robert Steven Belew, 46, of 187 Westwood Circle in Saltillo, is charged with the continual sexual battery of the girl, now 15, during six months from 2006 to 2007.
The Dispatch does not identify victims of alleged sexual abuse.
The former Caledonia Middle School student took the witness stand Monday, testifying before Circuit Judge Lee Howard that Belew made her watch pornographic movies beginning in 2005.
“He would ask me about boyfriends and he told me he would teach me,” she said.
“As we watched (the movies), he would point things out and tell me things. How to have sex.”
Then, from Nov. 1, 2006, to May 23, 2007, Belew began molesting her and forcing her to receive and perform oral sex, she said.
He also bought several sex toys, which he used on her, she added.
“He once tried to have intercourse with me,” she said. “He asked me and I told him ”no” and he got mad.”
The alleged incidents took place in her bedroom and the living room of their home in the 200 block of Green Hollow Drive and at his office on the Columbus Air Force Base, where he worked as head of security.
Her mother, now Belew”s ex-wife, was working at Barnhill”s restaurant in Columbus at the time, leaving Belew to babysit her and her then-3-year-old half-brother, she said.
She did not make the accusation sooner, she said, because she was afraid, although Belew had not threatened her.
“I was scared. I was afraid of what he would do if he found out,” she said.
In her statement to Lowndes County Sheriff”s deputies in January 2009, she said he made her promise not to tell of the abuse.
“I had not told anyone, but last Sunday my mom mentioned his name,” she told deputies then. “I started crying and she asked me why. She asked if he did anything he was not supposed to do. I broke down and told her what happened.”
But defense attorney Steve Farese attacked the girl”s credibility in cross examination, pointing out inconsistencies between her statement and her testimony, and that she had no corroborating evidence.
While she told deputies she had not told anyone of the incident, on the stand she said she had told a friend from school.
“That,” Farese emphasized, “was a lie.”
While she admitted that that was untrue, she maintained that she had been sexually abused by Belew.
“Everything (I said) he did to me is true,” she said.
When asked if there was any other evidence, she said she lost the diary she kept during the time, which was also not in her written statement.
Assistant District Attorney Rhonda Hayes-Ellis argued that the girl had not given more details in her statement because she was not asked to give them.
While she went to the hospital, the doctor”s report was never turned in, Farese said, implying that the results would not benefit her case against Belew.
“It takes about 30 years to build a (good) reputation, and about 30 seconds to destroy it,” he said.
Farese also implied that the allegations had surfaced the month after Belew told the 8-year-old boy that he was planning an addition to his house so the boy could move in with him.
The girl denied that she had any knowledge of the planned move and only knew Belew had said he was building an additional room for his son.
The jury reconvened today at 9 a.m. in the first-floor courtroom.