Trial for Vienna man accused of raping 7-year-old begins
CAMBRIDGE, Md. – The trial of a man accused of raping a minor under his supervision began Thursday, at the Dorchester County Circuit Court in Cambridge.
Authorities in Dorchester County say that 36-year-old Sylvester Parker was found by his girlfriend performing oral sex on her son during the early morning hours of January 5, 2019.
During the trial there were a few controversial issues that popped up on both sides.
The first was a signed statement made by a detective with the Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office during the investigation that the mother had witnessed the abuse first hand. However, during cross examination of the detective, the defense successfully pointed out that the mother told authorities on the day of the incident that she had not actually witnessed the act.
The second instance came during that same cross examination when a true bombshell was dropped, surprising both the defense and the prosecution. Three recordings of interviews conducted by the detective, previously unknown to both sides had been made: one with Parker, one with the victim and one with the victims mother. According to both sides, pertinent information about the case was contained in those recordings and ample time was needed to review the recordings.
Given this turn of events a plea deal was reached at the behest of Parker’s mother where the defendant would plead guilty to a lesser charge, register as a sex offender and serve a maximum of 5 years. As the judge began to go over the stipulations of the plea deal, Parker changed his mind and was heard saying, “I can’t go through with this,” thus resuming the jury trial.
However, because new evidence was introduced and in need of review the judge dismissed the jury for the day and scheduled the continuation of the trial for Thursday, August 15th with a special hearing between the judge, prosecutors, and the defense only scheduled for Tuesday, August 13th.
The state’s key witness, a DNA expert from the Maryland State Police, is set to appear in front of the jury on August 15th. That expert did appear on Thursday and discussed a sample collected from the victim that contained the DNA of Parker, but did not appear in front of the jury.