Closing arguments in the child molestation and attempted rape trial of 17-year-old Quintin Elijah Palmer are scheduled for 10 a.m. today.
Palmer is accused of molesting and trying to rape a 12-year-old girl in October. Jurors heard Wednesday that he told officers he was with the girl but denied in a police interview of touching her inappropriately.
Palmer is one of two teens accused of holding the girl against her will inside an old concession stand at Belvedere Park and molesting her on Oct. 15. Both Palmer and Jordan Lias, 16, face charges of aggravated child molestation, child molestation, aggravated sexual battery, enticing a child for indecent purposes, false imprisonment, attempted aggravated sodomy and attempted rape.
Lias is expected to go to trial in April.
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Jurors in Palmer’s case heard Tuesday from the 12-year-old girl, who said she was at the park when she lost her dog and followed his cries to the concession stand. That’s where she saw two teens later identified as Palmer and Lias. Palmer locked his legs around her and kept her from leaving before touching her, she testified.
On Wednesday, the jury listened to an audio-taped interview in which Palmer claimed the girl followed him to the concession stand.
“The girl came up there, and she was all up on me,” Palmer said in the interview. “She was trying to get my hat.”
Detectives questioning Palmer told the teen they didn’t believe his whole story. Palmer’s recitation then changed slightly.
“I went up there to see if she was going to do something,” Palmer said. “I got up there, I gave her a hug. That’s all I really did.”
Palmer then said Lias pulled down the girl’s pants, and a detective said the story didn’t match Lias’.
Superior Court Judge Gil McBride then had jurors file from the courtroom, and defense attorney Stacey Jackson asked for a mistrial.
“The detective stated, ‘We interviewed Jordan Lias. Your statements are not matching up,’” Jackson said.
According to Jackson, jurors hearing police imply that his client was lying should trigger a mistrial. McBride disagreed and denied Jackson’s motion.
Palmer did not testify as the defense rested its case without calling a witness.