Monday, January 28, 2008

Horace Mann Williams - Repeat Sex Offender

A 43-year-old convicted sex offender, who could spend the rest of his life in prison if convicted of molesting two girls, touched one of them on more than one occasion while tutoring her in reading, the teen testified Monday.

Horace Mann Williams allegedly molested the girl, now 17 years old, while she sat on his lap or next to him on a sofa, practicing her reading, on various occasions between 1999 and 2000, she told a Riverside County Superior Court jury.

Williams, who spent six years in prison for a prior sexual molestation conviction, faces a maximum of 335 years behind bars if convicted of molesting her and another girl.

The teen, identified in court only as Breeana, said she was about 9 years old at the time of the molestation. She said she was living with her mother, a drug user, and a younger brother in Hemet at the time and now lives in Orange County with her father.

The teen's mother had hired the defendant to help her with her schoolwork because she was behind and had been put into special classes.

“He would tutor in the living room,” Breeana testified. “We would just read from a book, any book, like 'Dr. Seuss,' or something. He'd ask me, like, to sit on his lap.”

The first few times, nothing of note happened, she testified.

But then one afternoon, the defendant slipped his hand inside the bib of the Winnie the Pooh coveralls she was wearing and rubbed her stomach, making slow circles on her belly, she said.

“I just wanted to get up,” the teen testified. “I just remember getting up really quickly.”

She said she told her mother the same day about what happened, but her mother did not believe her.

“She thought I was ... lying to get out of him coming over,” the girl said.

Another time, she said, the defendant put his fingers under the elastic of her panties and rubbed her from hip to hip, but without actually touching all of her private area.

“I remember getting up and crying,” she said.

And more than once, the girl testified, the defendant touched her chest area.

Eventually, she said she told her grandmother, who immediately believed her and called authorities.

Williams allegedly touched the other girl – then 13 years old – while he watched her at his Hemet apartment after either he or his wife picked her up from school.

He allegedly molested the teen on four to 10 occasions during the summer of 2005, according to a declaration in support of an arrest warrant filed with the court.

The court papers state that the girl's mother knew Williams was a registered sex offender, but told authorities that the defendant convinced her he had been falsely convicted.

The teen came forward in November 2005 and told authorities that she had lied to Child Protective Services in the past because she was afraid for herself and for Williams.

Outside court, prosecutor Burke Strunsky said the district attorney's office wasn't brought into the case back in 1990. The allegations involving Breanna came to light after the second alleged victim came forward.

Williams faces a total of 11 counts of lewd and lascivious behavior with a child under 14 and one count of penetration with a foreign object, along with sentence-enhancing allegations of having more than one victim and having a “strike” on his record.

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