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Teen testifies about 'touching' in sex abuse case against Bountiful man

Standard-Examiner (Ogden, UT) - 3/18/2014

March 18--LAYTON -- A teenage girl testified that a man who held a position of special trust had her try on her underwear and swimsuits in front of him.

He then would inappropriately touch her under the clothing, the girl testified.

The first time this happened the girl, who is now 16, was 11 years old, she said.

It is the Standard-Examiner's policy not to identify victims of sexual abuse.

The girl was the first witness to testify in a three-day jury trial that started on Monday in 2nd District Court in Layton for Michael Lon Gailey.

"I was confused and unsure about what was happening," the girl said about the first time Galley touched her under her clothes..

The inappropriate touching continued for almost two years, she said.

She also said, "I was too afraid to say anything" when asked why she didn't report it sooner.

The girl testified Gailey told her if she ever told anyone, someone would get into trouble and she believed it would be her.

It was a phone call to the girl's mother from her older brother that stopped the touching and began an investigation by the Division of Child and Family Services, as well as Bountiful Police Department, said Deputy Davis County Attorney Cristina Ortega during her opening remarks.

Gailey, 43, of Bountiful, is charged with six counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child, first-degree felonies.

The trial is being held in 2nd District Court in Layton before Judge David Hamilton. It is scheduled to continue Tuesday and Thursday.

During cross-examination, Kent Morgan, Gailey's attorney, asked the girl when she reached puberty.

The girl said she was 11.

She also testified during cross-examination she does not remember much of her childhood before she was 10 years old.

Morgan asked the girl multiple times why she didn't stop the touching.

The girl said, "I told him I didn't like it," but Gailey continued to touch her.

"I was afraid of him and what would happen," the girl said during cross-examination.

The girl said during cross-examination she did not give a lot of details in her first interview at the Children's Justice Center in June of 2010 because "I was afraid and it was embarrassing."

But in October of 2010, she went back to the justice center and told investigators everything "because I was tired of it and I didn't want it to happen again," the girl testified.

Nurse practitioner Karen Rymer testified she was asked by police and DCFS to examine the girl in July of 2010 at the Children's Justice Center. At that time the girl showed no physical signs of sexual abuse.

"After reviewing your notes there is not one shred of physical evidence to fuid substantial abuse," Morgan said to Rymer.

"Black and white, no, there is not," Rymer said. "But we know sex abuse can happen without any physical damage."

According to court documents, Gailey is accused of inappropriately touching a girl who he held a position of trust. The abuse took place from May 6, 2008, through June 30, 2010.

Two counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child were filed against Gailey on July 14, 2010, but were dismissed without prejudice in December of 2010. The county attorney's office filed the current case against Gailey on Sept. 20, 2012.

Contact reporter Loretta Park at 801-625-4252 or lpark@standard.net. Follow her on Twitter at @LorettaParkSE.

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(c)2014 the Standard-Examiner (Ogden, Utah)

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