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Second trial begins for coast guardsman accused of sexual abuse

Posted: September 18, 2013 - 7:20pm  |  Updated: September 18, 2013 - 7:29pm

Opening arguments and testimony from two investigating officers were presented in a Kenai Superior Court trail accusing a U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class of sexually abusing a 4-year-old boy.

The state alleges John R. Blackman Jr., 32, using his hand, bruised his then-girlfriend’s son’s genitals. The Soldotna man is charged with four counts of second-degree sexual abuse of a minor and three counts of third-degree assault. All are felonies.

Assistant District Attorney Amanda Browning told the jury, in her opening statement, it would hear from the boy, now 6 years old. Browning said she anticipates he will say, as he did in his interview at the Child Advocacy Center, “Johnny hurt my pee-pee.” Browning said the jury will hear that Blackman hurt the boy’s genitals with his hand twice.

“This is not your typical sexual abuse case,” Browning said, before going on to say evidence will show the case to be about power and control.

Public Defender Andy Pevehouse reserved his opening statement.

The jury heard testimony from both the initial investigating officer, Soldotna Police Officer Victor Dillion, and Soldotna Police Sgt. Rory Espy, who was an officer at the time of the investigation.

Dillion answered questions about receiving the mother’s report of possible abuse. Espy, a certified Child Forensic Interviewer, who interviewed the boy, told the jury about his credentials, how child interviews are conducted and what kinds of non-leading and not misleading questions can be asked. He said he has done about 25 child interviews since October 2011.

The changes from this case are the result of a March 2012 report made by the boy’s mother followed by interviews, including an interview with the boy at CAC, and physical examination by a Registered Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner, who found “significant bruising” on the boy’s neck, arms, back legs and genitals, according to a criminal complaint filed by Soldotna police.

The case went to trial the first time in June 2013 where the jury found Blackman was not guilty of a second-degree assault charge. Jury selection for the trial began Tuesday and lasted until about 11 a.m. Wednesday.

Blackman is currently out of custody.

Kaylee Osowski can be reached at kaylee.osowski@peninsulaclarion.com.

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