Sanchez’s trial began Monday with Judge Carey Nelson presiding. He was charged with two counts of aggravated sexual battery, four counts of aggravated child molestation and two counts of child molestation against a female family member.
Defense for Sanchez, Christina Stahl, told the jury that her client was innocent and the accusations surfaced after Sanchez confiscated a cell phone from the victim containing sexually explicit pictures.
Prior to that the pair had a normal relationship, as Sanchez testified to Tuesday.
Sanchez teared up explaining how mad he was reading text messages between the girl and a boy. He said he took the phone and forbade the girl from communicating with the boy again.
Several family members also testified on Tuesday, including the girl’s mother, who said she initially confronted Sanchez when her daughter told her about the molestation.
The witness testified that she wasn’t aware of the text message, and after the allegations, her daughter didn’t act differently. She said her daughter even mentioned the victim grilling baby back ribs for her.
Sanchez declined to comment. However, a family member standing near him said the family is “extremely happy with the outcome and this is a private family matter.”
In Judge Scott Smith’s courtroom, the trial of the 7-year-old confined to a wooden box by Christopher Leslie continued through Wednesday afternoon. Jurors heard testimonies from the victim, now 8.
“Whenever I get in trouble, he [would] put me in the box,” the boy testified.
He said he would kick and “make screaming noise” but couldn’t get out because the box was closed with a screwdriver between the latch.
The boy testified that Heather Leslie, who is on trial with her husband, often put a wet towel on his face to cool him down.
“Heather [would] go to bathroom and get [a] wet rag and put it over my face,” he said.
The boy, a second-grader at a local school, said Christopher Leslie also tied him in a sleeping bag with a yellow rope and put pepper from the kitchen in his mouth.
A video interview from the boy’s time at the Harbor House last year was also shown to jurors. He said during that interview the box “was hot” and the reason for him being placed in the box varied from arguing with his brother to not keeping his hands to himself to not reading a book.
When asked how long he was in the box he replied, “Fifteen, 30, 100,000 (minutes).” The boy said oftentimes he tried to kick his way out of the box and felt as if he couldn’t breathe.
According to testimony from his psychologist, he suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and is in counseling once a week.
Testimonies will resume this morning with Christopher Leslie continuing from Wednesday; there is no word if Heather Leslie will take the stand.
The state rested on calling witnesses.