Man stands trial for sex abuse

Published 3:12 am Thursday, June 16, 2016

An Opp man is on trial this week for multiple sex charges.

Jerry Wayne Scofield was arrested in December of 2013 for allegedly sexually abusing a female relative for years.

A Covington County grand jury indicted Scofield in July 2014 on rape I, sodomy I, sexual abuse I and sexual abuse of a child under 12.

During opening arguments Wednesday, Chief Assistant District Attorney Grace Jeter said that Scofield had sexually abused two generations of family members.

Jeter said that Scofield’s abuse ranged from touching the victims vaginally to sexual intercourse and oral sex.

Jeter said Scofield admitted to touching the girls vaginally.

Defense attorney Joe Sawyer told the jury that Scofield has entered a plea of not guilty.

“We are not guilty,” he said. “We are going to call our client to testify to refute. We have a defense.”

Sawyer told the jury there are facts and reasons why the victims are bringing allegations against his client.

“We have a side, too,” he said.

Jeter, put both victims on the stand.

The first victim, the younger of the two recounted four incidents in which Scofield sexually abused her.

She gave the jury explicit details into the alleged abuse.

The victim testified that Scofield told her that it was their little secret.

She said she first told someone in the sixth grade – a friend who told her teacher.

That prompted her to tell her mother.

“My mom got angry,” she said.

But no one came to talk to her and no investigation was conducted.

A few years later, a friend of her mom’s came for her older sister’s graduation and eventually she confided in her mom’s friend.

She testified that was about three years after she told her mom.

The older victim, who looked the defendant in the eye while testifying, said he first molested her when she was between 4 and 6.

She recalled that day, and two others specifically when she said Scofield abused her with him allegedly raping her in the summer of 1985.

The victim testified that when school began that August, there was a good touch, bad touch presentation.

She said her teacher asked her what was wrong.

“Everything spilled out of me,” she said. “I couldn’t stop talking.”

Before she knew it, she had told “her little secret.”

Felicia Cope of the Department of Human Resources investigated the incident.

She also took the stand and said her investigation determined the allegations were founded, and she turned the case over to the District Attorney’s office in 1985.

The victim testified that she and the defendant went to counseling after that and the defendant went off to work.

Fast forward years later when the older victim was dealing with the same behavior toward a close family member of hers.

When asked why she didn’t report it to DHR, she said that they had not helped her in the past.

She did the only thing she knew to do and that was put space between the defendant and the victim.

She also testified that the defendant has gotten baptized and “found Jesus.”

DHR social worker Sandra Inabinett, who worked the recent case, said that the younger victim was consistent in her story as was the defendant.

She said in her opinion the victim was sexually abused.

The defendant’s granddaughter, Emily Alverson, testified that she asked her grandfather at Peaceful Acres Memorial Gardens if he really did what he was being accused of. Alverson is not one of the victims of the alleged crime.