XENIA — The Xenia man accused of sex crimes against a child in 2016 declared his innocence in Greene County Common Pleas Court March 29.
Andre T. Estes, 37, is facing one count of rape, a first-degree felony; one count of attempted rape, a second-degree felony; and one count of sexual battery, a second-degree felony.
Estes — the first witness for the defense — repeatedly said “never” when asked by defense attorney Michael P. Brush if he committed the alleged crimes against the girl, who was seven-years-old at the time.
The alleged victim testified earlier in the week that Estes on more than one occasion committed the sex acts.
But Estes stopped short of calling her a liar.
“I don’t think she’s lying,” he said. “I think she’s being led to say what she said.”
Estes was also given a chance to explain how his bodily fluids ended up on a “Hello Kitty” rug in the girl’s bedroom. Estes said he and the girl’s mother — who is not being named to protect the girl’s identity — had intercourse in the girl’s room.
Estes also testified that when he was confronted by the girls’ mother it was he who suggested they take her to the hospital.
“I had nothing to worry about,” Estes said. “I would never do anything to hurt her.”
The day’s testimony ended prior to the prosecution beginning cross examination.
Earlier in the day the final witnesses for the state testified including Xenia police officer David Elliott, former Xenia police officer Brian Blackaby, Michael’s House family service coordinator Amy Ferguson, and Christopher Cox, a digital forensic examiner.
Elliott’s testimony revolved around his part in the investigation, which included the initial contact with the girl and her mother. Blackaby, who said he left XPD on good terms a few weeks ago, responded to the alleged crime scene as an evidence technician and detailed the process for collecting evidence and the procedure for booking it into evidence.
Ferguson, who conducted the second interview with the alleged victim, answered some questions as the interview video was played for the jury.
Cox testified about the process for extracting data from the defendant’s cell phone and explained the extraction report, which specifically listed various websites the phone’s browser visited. Cox read the title of several “taboo sex” websites which appeared on the report.
Estes admitted that he searched for and viewed the websites and videos but he said the prosecution “skipped over” other pornographic sites he visited. He also said he never looked at videos with children under 18-years-old.
The rape charge is a first-degree felony, while the sexual battery and attempted rape counts are second-degree felonies. According to court documents, the count of rape comes with a minimum of 15 years, while the sexual battery charge carries mandatory imprisonment without a specified term. The alleged rape charge carries mandatory indefinite imprisonment of a minimum of 10 years.
The trial will continue 8:30 a.m. Friday, March 29 in Judge Michael Buckwalter’s court room. The jury could get the case as early as Friday.