Accuser testifies in trial of DC officer charged with child sex - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Accuser testifies in trial of DC officer charged with child sex abuse

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Wendel Palmer Wendel Palmer
WASHINGTON - Emotional testimony was given at the trial of a D.C. police officer and youth choir director accused of sexually abusing a child.

The accuser took the stand Thursday, at times in tears, describing the sexual abuse that she says took place when she was in the sixth and seventh grade while she was a member of a church youth choir and the officer was its director.

Wendel Palmer has maintained his innocence since his arrest, and his attorney, David Benowitz, a partner in the firm of Price Benowitz LLP, told the jury the sexual abuse never happened, and the only reason the officer is in court is because the young woman making the accusations has lingering and festering anger over an affair her mother had with Officer Palmer.

But when the young woman, now a junior in college, took the stand Thursday, she told the court how Palmer would abuse her at the Southeast D.C. church.

The first time, she said Palmer asked her, "Did you like it?”

“No,” she said.

“Can you keep a secret?” he asked.

“Yes,” she said.

The young woman then went on to testify how Palmer had close ties with her family. When asked how she first reacted to Palmer’s advances and touching, she replied, "I was panicked and shocked ... I didn't know what to do ... this was somebody I looked up to.”

When the prosecutor asked, "Why didn't you tell?”

She said, "He was a cop. He could get out of it. Plus I knew what it was like not to have a father and I didn't want his kids to feel the way I did.”

There was an audible reaction to that statement in the courtroom as the accuser broke down in tears. Others did the same.

Although Palmer has maintained his innocence, he has remained locked up since his arrest last January when the young woman first came forward.

Related Story:

DC officer pleads not guilty to child sex abuse with 11-year-old church choir member


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