BONHAM — There was no shortage of interesting witnesses Tuesday as the Fannin County District Attorney’s Office began its case against a Trenton mother on charges that she participated in the sexual assault of her own child.
Noemi Isabel Noria has pleaded not guilty to the sexual assault of a child charges she came to face after the accidental death of one of her children.
Noria is the mother of 12-year-old Jhoel Noria, who struck by an SUV while waiting on a school bus in September 2015. When police arrived at the home to investigate the child’s death, they found other children who eventually reported they were being abused.
Police arrested Noemi Noria, 40; Pedro Noria, 28; and Nelson Rodriquez, 19, on child abuse charges.
In May, Sergio Maldonado Facundo was convicted of continuous sexual assault of a child against one of Noemi Noria’s children. Facundo was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole for the charge. Testimony during that trial indicated that the Norias knowingly provided their child to Facundo to abuse.
On Tuesday jurors heard from that child, called Michael to protect his identity, as well as from the relative he told about the abuse, the Children’s Advocacy Center employee who interviewed him, the nurse who examined him and the police officer who investigated the charges.
The most compelling testimony came from the boy who said he was abused three times by Facundo between the time he was 8 and 9 years old. Michael answered questions from Assistant Fannin County District Attorney Don Hoover with as much patience as anyone could ask of a child who claimed to have been sexually assaulted by no less than five people over his short lifetime.
Hoover pulled a chair right up in front of the boy and sat down so they were face to face while asking his questions. The boy looked the prosecutor right in the eye a great deal of the time and only occasionally let his eyes wander past the attorney to the small crowd of people seated in the audience. His eyes only seemed to drift in the direction of his mother when her attorney Steven Miears, questioned him.
Those questions were aimed at moving his client as far as humanly possible from the abuse that Facundo was convicted of inflicting on the child. While Hoover introduced evidence that the child had drawn a photograph that showed his mother and stepfather in the room when Facundo raped him, Miears pointed out that there were a number of times when the boy told of his abuse without mentioning his mother’s alleged part in it.
The boy told jurors his mother and father were in the room at Facundo’s house when the boy was called in away from a room of children playing video games. He said his stepfather tied his hands and feet to the bed and his mother put duct tape over his mouth before they stood around while Facundo abused him.
He also agreed when Hoover asked him if he had said his mother led him into an office where the boy says Facundo sexually assaulted him and that she and the stepfather were both at the home of the boy’s grandfather when Facundo abused him there. The boy testified his parents were not in the house at the time.
The child also told the jury that he misses him mom. Under questions from Miears, the boy talked about trying to get the counseling program he is in to get back home to his family. Miears seemed to suggest that the boys’ statements about Facundo grew to include his parents as he tried to work through that program. Hoover offered the jury the testimony of Children’s Advocacy Center Director Britney Martin who said it is not uncommon for children to release information about who abused them gradually over time as they test the waters to see how their outcries are received. She said children are often afraid of what will happen when they outcry and some have even been threatened not to tell or people will be hurt or worse.
The case continues in the 336th state District Court with Judge Laurie Blake presiding Wednesday