A trial started Tuesday for a Wyckoff man and former Fox 5 news reporter accused of sexually abusing a 4-year-old girl in his township home. According to a NorthJersey.com report, the trial opened with some unexpected testimony.
Prosecutors allege that in 2010, Charles Leaf sexually assaulted a family acquaintance by touching her private parts and instructing her to touch his, the report said. In 2010, the girl explained the incident to her babysitter, and then to investigators, it said.
However, on Tuesday, the girl, who is now 8, testified that the incident never happened, NorthJersey.com reported. She testified that her babysitter “instructed her to fabricate the allegations,” the report said.
The prosecution argued that the girl’s memory of the event might be hazy, that she might be intimidated by the courtroom setting, and pointed out that Leaf allegedly told her not to tell anyone of the event, the report said.
The defense portrayed Leaf as a decorated ex-Marine, husband and father of two, and Emmy Award-winning journalist, the report said. It also said the defense pointed out that 20 minutes of the girl’s 2010 interview had not been recorded, and that her pediatrician never saw anything suspicious during routine exams.
Leaf could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted. The trial is set to continue Wednesday, the report said.