Attorneys provided opening statements Thursday in the trial of a Merced
man accused of raping a 13-year-old girl.
MERCED - Raymond Dean Thompson, 32, is accused of assaulting the girl during
the early morning hours of Nov. 1 in the bedroom of her Merced apartment.
He’s pleaded not guilty to seven felony counts, and his attorney
claims there’s little or no evidence the girl was assaulted.
The girl claims she was sleeping when Thompson entered her bedroom and
assaulted her for several minutes. Her 11-year-old brother was asleep
in a separate bed in the same room, and her father was attending a neighborhood
gathering when the assault happened.
Deputy District Attorney Rob Carroll, prosecutor in the case, told jurors
the girl confided in an apartment manager the same morning about the assault,
and police were notified. The victim’s father also confronted Thompson
that morning, after learning about the alleged assault. A confrontation
between the two men erupted in the 1800 block of Merced Avenue, and police
responded to the scene.
Thompson, who knew the girl’s father, was arrested and acknowledged
being at the neighborhood gathering, but denied ever assaulting the girl.
Carroll said the girl told Merced police the defendant’s cell phone
rang during the assault — and she saw his face when the phone lit
up. “She will look at you and tell you that’s the man that
sexually assaulted her,” Carroll told jurors.
The girl also claimed she recognized the defendant’s phone ringtone.
Carroll also said the nurse who performed a rape exam on the girl will
testify the injuries on her private parts are consistent with an assault.
In contrast, defense attorney
Jeffrey Tenenbaum said there’s little physical evidence of an assault. Tenenbaum said
samples from medical cotton swabs, clothes and the bed’s mattress
were submitted to a Department of Justice lab for testing — but
absolutely no DNA or semen evidence was found. “Numerous other cuttings
for all the evidence tested negative,” Tenenbaum said.
Tenenbaum said a DOJ criminologist will also testify during the trial about
the lack of evidence. He also said the girl has made numerous inconsistent
statements since the allegations arose.
As for the ring tone on Thompson’s phone, Tenenbaum told jurors,
“That’s not enough to convict a man of forcible rape.”
Thompson is charged with forcible rape, performing a lewd or lascivious
act upon a child, sodomy by force, oral copulation by force, making a
threat of great bodily injury, assault and burglary.
He remains at the Merced County Jail in lieu of $250,000 bail.