Victim testifies in Carbondale-area child sex assault case
Post Independent staff
A 16-year-old girl testified in Garfield County District Court Friday that her former stepfather had sexually abused her on multiple occasions beginning in her childhood.
She told the courtroom John Wayne Diamond, the defendant, had sexually assaulted her in August 2011 in a basement at a Missouri Heights home, by removing her clothing and performing sexual acts on her. She said she was 9 years old at the time.
The victim testified with a courthouse dog present and said when the assaults would occur at a residence, Diamond would lock the door.
Police say the alleged abuse, which spanned four years, occurred when the girl was approximately 9 to 13 years old.
According to police, Diamond was the owner of GreenBuild Roofing LLC in Basalt from 2011 to 2015, at the time of the alleged abuse.
Police said in reports the alleged abuse occurred at multiple locations, including at Missouri Heights, Diamond’s office in Willits Town Center, a house near Carbondale and a residence in Basalt.
Over the course of four years, Diamond would allegedly entice the victim with fast food, Ebay items, video games and playing cards, the victim told police.
He would also buy her food, flowers, necklaces, knives and other items, according to another witness.
The victim also said in court that, at one time, he offered her $500 to have intercourse with him, and on two other occasions allegedly asked her to watch adult pornography.
In court Friday, the victim told District Attorney Jeff Cheney that she denied the alleged abuse during a forensic interview in 2011 because she wanted to protect Diamond from trouble. She testified that he told her to tell authorities that he only touched her on the leg.
She said Ms. Diamond, his ex-wife at the time, had told her to say the same. They both testified that Mr. Diamond had touched the victim on the leg with Ms. Diamond in the room to prove that the victim was willing to let a man touch her.
He allegedly did this to prove to Ms. Diamond that the victim had previously been sexually assaulted by her biological father.
The victim told the courtroom she had seen the assaults as something that would “help get the truth out of me.
“I saw him as someone who helped me release the truth about what my biological father had done,” she said of the previous alleged assaults. “He kinda tricked me into telling him.”
According to the victim, in the moments before Ms. Diamond entered the room was the first time Mr. Diamond allegedly sexually assaulted her.
According to court documents and the victim’s testimony, Mr. Diamond had also allegedly threatened to kill her, her family, responding officers and himself if she told anyone about the abuse.
In court Wednesday, Ms. Diamond said the suspect exposed himself to the victim and other children, and she said she felt threatened in one instance when he carried a gun in the house.
Presiding Judge Denise Lynch said she expects to hear testimony until June 26, but that the trial could run longer. Court will resume on Monday at 8:30 a.m. at the Garfield County Courthouse.
Diamond is currently free on $503,000 bond and is charged with three counts of sexual assault on a child less than 15 years of age and four counts of sexual assault on a child less than 15 years of age as a pattern of abuse, class 3 felonies.
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