Prosecution rests in child molestation case
by Jessica Loeding
Jun 17, 2011 | 2866 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The state rested Thursday in the case of a man accused of committing indecent acts against a child at a Euharlee residence.

Larry Elden Thomas is charged with two counts of child molestation, enticing a child for indecent purposes and false imprisonment. According to the indictment, Thomas is accused of committing immoral acts on a female under the age of 14 between Aug. 1 and Oct. 11, 2008, at a Euharlee residence. He allegedly exposed himself to the girl, placed his genitals on her arm and directed her to touch him inappropriately.

Testimony began Thursday in Bartow County Superior Court Judge Shepherd Howell's courtroom.

The victim took the stand mid-morning saying she was living at her father's home, where Thomas and his girlfriend also resided, when the abuse began.

According to the girl, now 11, Thomas exposed himself to her "so many times" she couldn't remember. He also allegedly grabbed her buttocks once while she played outside.

The victim said Thomas told her no one would believe her when she threatened to tell her father or other family members.

On one occasion, the girl said she told her family -- with Thomas present -- about the man exposing himself to her. She testified that Thomas' girlfriend became visibly upset and she felt concerned, causing her to then retract her story. Soon after, the girl moved to her mother's home in Euharlee.

The mother testified that Thomas and his girlfriend then moved in some months later. She said "I knew" something was wrong and wanted Thomas close in order to keep an eye on the situation.

About a month after Thomas moved in, the victim said she was called downstairs where Thomas wanted to show her a music video on the computer. Once she arrived, she said he told her to close her eyes and then open them at his direction.

The girl said when she opened her eyes the video was playing but pornographic material was in the background. According to the victim, when she turned, Thomas was exposing himself and asked her to touch him. She refused and screamed for help.

Her mother and Thomas's girlfriend came downstairs as she escaped.

When questioned by the defense about young girls screaming over childish things, the girl's mother said, "In the way she screamed that day? No."

Following that incident, authorities were called in and Thomas left the home.

Former Euharlee Police Department investigator Craig Folds said during his talks with the victim her story remained consistent, but he admitted that he never spoke with Thomas or his girlfriend and never searched the computer for the pornographic images.

An expert witness from Harbor House who conducted the forensic interview with the victim also took the stand.

The jury was shown the video of the interview between the representative and the victim, during which the girl drew pictures of what she experienced, including the alleged incident where Thomas placed his genitals on her arm.

The expert testified that the victim showed no signs of coaching and provided unique details about the incidents that led her to believe the girl was telling the truth.

The prosecution rested its case about 4:30 p.m., with the defense calling the victim's father to the stand.

According to the father, the victim "had a rough life" and was searching for a mother figure, but he testified that he "never saw anything inappropriate" from Thomas.

When questioned about the victim telling him of the abuse, the father testified that he questioned both Thomas and the girl. He testified that he stressed to the victim that she should tell the truth because Thomas could face "a lot of trouble."

Testimony is expected to resume at 9 a.m. today.