Judge rejects separate trials in child sex abuse case

DOVER, Del. (AP) — A judge in Delaware has denied a request to hold multiple trials for a former Head Start program aide facing child sex abuse charges.

The ruling came Tuesday in response to a request from attorneys for Timothy K. McCrary. McCrary, 28, was arrested in June after an investigation prompted by a call from the state Division of Family Services regarding possible sexual abuse at the Telemon Head Start program in Harrington.

He was indicted in October on two counts of sexual abuse of a child by a person of trust involving one alleged victim, and two counts of unlawful sexual contact involving each of three other alleged victims.

McCrary’s attorney argued that he should be tried separately on charges involving each of the alleged victims because joining them together at one trial would prejudice him in the eyes of the jury.

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The defense also noted that each alleged occurrence involves different witnesses and a different set of circumstances. McCrary’s attorney also argued that if the cases are not severed the use of videosurveillance tape involving one of the alleged victims would be highly prejudicial to him and could subject him to embarrassment if introduced in the case involving the other alleged victims.

Prosecutors argued that there should be only one trial because the offenses involved the same general conduct and happened relatively close in time. They also argued that evidence involving one would be admissible at the trial involving another.

The judge agreed, ruling that while there are some differences in the cases, there are enough similarities to reasonably conclude that the alleged conduct was part of “a common plan.”

All of the offenses happened at the school or on a school bus while McCrary was supervising the same group of toddlers, the judge noted.

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