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Jury hears testimony in abuse trial

Burton

Testimony continued Wednesday in the trial of James Burton, a pastor accused of molesting a young girl as a foster child in his home.

Burton, 51, is charged with four counts of child molesting – two Class A felonies and two Class C felonies. The girl, now 10, alleged he touched her sexually as well as performed a sex act on her and had her perform a sex act on him while she was staying in his home as a foster child between June 2009 and January 2012.

She eventually disclosed the allegations to the staff at her elementary school, court documents said. Burton was charged in December 2012.

The girl was removed from the Burtons’ home that year.

The Allen County Superior Court jury first heard testimony from Michelle Ditton, a sexual assault nurse examiner at the Fort Wayne Sexual Assault Treatment Center, who had examined the girl five days after she said the last incidence of abuse occurred.

She testified that the girl had no injuries and said no evidence was collected because of the type of allegations involved and the period during which the abuse allegedly occurred.

At one point during the girl’s examination, the girl demonstrated, without being prompted, one of the ways Burton touched her, which Ditton noted in her report.

Ditton said the girl’s demeanor was bright and engaged as they began talking, but as she talked about the abuse, the girl became quieter.

The girl testified Tuesday on the trial’s opening day.

The jury also heard from the teacher to whom the girl disclosed the abuse allegations, as well as siblings who had also been placed in Burton’s home in foster care.

The trial is expected to continue through today.

rgreen@jg.net

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