MARIPOSA - After nearly two weeks of emotional and dramatic testimony, the fate of William Terry MacDonald, 64, of Hornitos is now in the hands of a Mariposa County jury. Both the prosecution and defense presented closing arguments on Tuesday afternoon.
Late last week, MacDonald took the stand in his own defense. MacDonald’s testimony followed that of his oldest child, Lance Mac- Donald, Sr. The picture the two men of the sexual molestation allegations was quite different than the one sketched by the victims and other witnesses earlier in the proceeding.
MacDonald patently denied all the charges lodged against him, waiving his constitutional right against self-incrimination by testifying. During his time on the stand, MacDonald described his relationships with his two wives and children. He said he had never before heard any allegation that Lance Sr. had been sexually involved with one of the victims.
“I didn’t hear it until here in this courtroom,” MacDonald said, noting that he never noticed anything unusual about their relationship. “I saw nothing. Those kids were like brother and sister. They hung out a lot together.” He added that even as adults, their families spent time together.
MacDonald testified that the victim’s report that he was sexually abusing her in 1992 left him stunned. “I was dumbfounded,” he said. “I had no clue what she was talking about. I was totally stunned and baffled. I couldn’t imagine.”
MacDonald said he believed the girl was upset at him for not allowing her to spend time with a boyfriend. After the allegation and its subsequent retraction, MacDonald said he stopped trying to parent the girl. “I washed my hands of the whole thing. I was done.”
He said he understood what such allegations could have done to him. “I could have gone to jail or something,” he said. “I was trying to be a dad. It blew me away.” MacDonald said from that point on, he took precautions to make sure he was never alone with the girls.
As to the other victims, MacDonald was equally adamant that he had done nothing wrong.