Scott City man acquitted of molestation charge

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

At the end of the trial of a Scott City man accused of molestation, Cape Girardeau County Prosecuting Attorney Morley Swingle told jurors their decision came down to one question -- whether they believed an 8-year-old girl. After about an hour of deliberation, jurors decided they didn't. They found Brian Palmer not guilty of felony child molestation.

The girl, now 9, was the first witness called to the stand by Swingle during jury trial Tuesday at the Cape Girardeau County Courthouse.

Palmer, 31, was dating the girl's mother, of Cape Girardeau, at the time the crime was alleged to have occurred last summer. He was called to the stand last by his attorney, Stephen Wilson, where he said he would never have molested the girl and that he treated her like he would his own child.

"My client is very, very happy, as is the entire family," Wilson said. "They are glad this is over."

The girl alleged inappropriate touching occurred at her mother's residence on Cape Rock Drive. She said Palmer, who often stayed with the child's mother, came home early one day and watched television in the living room.

While being questioned by Wilson, the child said that while Palmer was in her room he never said anything threatening to her.

According to the child's testimony, she didn't tell her mother about what happened until around a month later, on Aug. 31, when she was at her father's house and her mother brought her an extra set of clothes. Her parents, she said, share custody.

In an interview with highway patrol investigators and also during his testimony, Palmer said he did rub lotion on her because she was complaining she wasn't feeling well.

Also, the 8-year-old was constantly asking Palmer to rub her feet and back like he did for her mother, he said.

"She had always been wanting me to put lotion on her, just like I did to her mom," Palmer said. "When she gets something in her head, that's what she wants."

ehevern@semissourian.com

388-3635

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