Jury in sex abuse case to decide fate of Stamford man
STAMFORD - With closing arguments completed in a fourth-floor courtroom Tuesday morning, a Stamford jury is about to decide the fate of a city man accused of molesting two young daughters of his former girlfriend.
The six-person jury listened to five days of testimony in the case of Margarito Campos-Marin, who took the stand on Monday to declare his innocence.
Campos-Marin, 40, is facing as many as 26 years in jail while facing charges of fourth-degree sexual assault, illegal sexual contact with a child victim and attempted fourth-degree sexual assault.
Under questioning by his attorney Darnell Crosland, Campos-Marin painted a picture of a maligned would-be stepfather and disciplinarian who came under police scrutiny only after he caught his girlfriend’s youngest daughter sending inappropriate tweets over Twitter and the oldest daughter became angry and accused him of stalking her online.
Campos-Marin told the jury that his relationship with the older daughter was never good, but the breaking point between the two came after he told her mother about the tweets and she grounded the two girls in January 2013.
It was at that point that the allegations of sexual abuse surfaced against Campos-Marin, who began paying rent and sleeping in the living room of his girlfriend’s Ursula Place apartment more than two years before the allegations of sexual abuse were made.
Through an interpreter Campos-Marin said on the stand, “I was telling her to set a better example for her younger sister and she got very upset.”
But on cross examination Assistant State’s Attorney Daniel Cummings asked if he ever told police investigators about the fight over the Twitter posts when he talked to them. Campos-Marin, then admitted that he did not tell police and there was nothing about Twitter in his statement to police.
Cummings then asked if that fight was so important, if it seemed to provide the motive for the allegations against him, why did he not bring it up to police.
Campos-Marin did not respond.
“I am innocent,” he later told Crosland.
But the girls, whose last names are not being used during the trial to protect their identities, told a different story when called to the stand early last week.
Jessenia L, 23, told Cummings that on her birthday in Sept. 2012 Campos-Marin sat close to her in the living room where he was living while watching television and began rubbing her leg and asked if he could go further. With her mother upstairs, Jessenia, then 17, said no but Campos-Marin pushed his hands into the top of her pants anyway, she said.
With his hands above her panties, the teen said she ran upstairs, but did not tell her mother what happened. It was about four months later when she and her younger sister got grounded for the Twitter incident that she told her mother what happened.
At that point the younger sister, then 14, also told her mother that Campos-Marin had sexually assaulted her a couple of years earlier.
On the stand, Jennifer D, 19, told the jury that in2010 when she was 10 or 11 years old she was sleeping on the couch with Campos Marin when he put his hands under her pajamas and touched her private area. Jennifer said she grabbed his hand and pulled it out, but again no one told the girls’ mother.
Jennifer said she did not tell her mother about it until January 2013.
Worried about what would happen to her family if she told the police, the mother did not report it until Jessenia L. told her counselor at school about the alleged sexual abuse later in 2013. Campos Marin was subsequently arrested in Dec. 2013 and posted a court appearance bond and was released.