Former Platte City business owner accused of sexually abusing two girls waives right to remain silent, testifies
Persons accused of a crime have the right to remain silent.
That is, they are protected by the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States, which states in part “defendants or witnesses in criminal trials need not testify against themselves.” In the majority of criminal cases, defendants choose to “take the Fifth” so they do not incriminate themselves.
Daryl Lemasters, a former PlatteCity businessman accused of sexually abusing two young girls, waived his right to remain silent Tuesday afternoon and took the stand to testify during the second day of his trial by jury in PlatteCity.
Lemasters, 54, stands accused of four counts of statutory sodomy in the first degree, enticement of a child and sexual exploitation of a minor, all felonies. If convicted of the crimes, he faces life in prison.
The Platte County Prosecutor’s case against Lemasters is based in large part on the testimony of the two alleged victims — now 13 and 12-years-old — who both testified in front of the jury Monday in Platte County Judge Lee Hull’s courtroom. Videotaped statements the two girls made to a SynergyServicesChildAdvocacyCenter representative more than two years ago were also shown in court Tuesday.
During both their live and taped testimony, the girls said Lemasters touched and kissed their genitalia numerous times over a several-year span in his PlatteCity area home and his swimming pool, where they said they often “skinny-dipped” with Lemasters.
During his testimony, Lemasters admitted that he had skinny-dipped with the girls. He admitted that he often “tickled” one of the girls by brushing his fingers lightly across her back and across her buttocks and also said that he had touched the girls’ genitalia when they were younger in order to apply medicine to infections. But he repeatedly denied ever touching or kissing the girls’ genitalia in a sexual manner.
“Never,” Lemasters answered when asked by his attorney, Mark Jones, if he had ever kissed or licked the girls’ genitalia.
“Then why do you think these girls would make that up?” Jones asked.
“The only thing I can think of is that they heard it from someone else, somehow... things got out of control,” Lemasters said.
He added that one of the girls may have become jealous of the other one.