Monday, August 17, 2009

G.L. Sizemore Charged with Rape of Child

A man accused of multiple sex crimes against a family member goes on trial this week.

G.L. Sizemore, 49, of Kings Mountain, has been charged with two counts of indecent liberties of a child, first-degree rape of a child, first-degree sex offense of a child, and failure to appear on those charges. His last known address is Farris Road.

Sizemore is accused of committing sex crimes while he lived in the home where the victim also lived, according to court testimony. Prosecutors said the sexual abuse lasted more than five years.

Several potential jurors were candid Monday when asked by prosecutors and the defense if they knew of or experi-enced any form of sexual abuse. More than 10 people said that they had either experienced abuse or knew of a family member who had.

Many were dismissed. It took several hours for the eight-man, four-female jury to be chosen.

Opening statements

Prosecutor Elizabeth Lari began her opening statement by saying the case, “has been a family secret for a long time.”

Lari told jurors Sizemore began touching the accuser when she was a child and went on to say the touching esca-lated to fondling and eventually intercourse. The alleged abuse began at age 5 and ended at age 12, according to Lari.

“It happened a number of times throughout the years,” Lari said.

Lifelong memory

Tears rolled down the accuser’s face as Lari told jurors she will testify on Tuesday.

“I hope she will give you the full picture,” Lari said. “This is a lifelong memory that she has repressed and will now recall in a room full of strangers.”

According to court testimony, the victim came forward to authorities in July 2003 to give a full, detailed account of what happened those years of her childhood.

Two sides of a coin

Sizemore’s attorney, Mike Griffin, said there was a period of time when everything went well between the parties.

But things quickly changed between 2001 and 2003, when the accuser came forward.

“There are two sides to every coin and two sides to every story,” Griffin said.

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