COEUR d’ALENE — The first girl to tell her family about the lewd and sexual acts with minors allegedly perpetrated by Robert Del Critchfield was the last to tell the jury.
The girl, who’s 14 years old now, testified in Kootenai County District Court Thursday that, “Sometimes some of them (other alleged victims) came crying to me. So I just decided to put a stop to it.”
The 35-year-old Critchfield, who is not currently in custody, has been charged with multiple felony counts of lewd conduct with a minor and sexual abuse of a child, stemming from alleged acts in 2007 and 2008. He was arrested in June 2008, and he has pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
His trial began Tuesday.
The girl, who was friends with Critchfield’s daughter at the time of the alleged incidents, recalled in her testimony that when Critchfield found out she was going to come forward, he reportedly said, “’If you tell somebody, I’m going to be in serious trouble.’”
Her response was, “I said ‘good.’ I looked him straight in the eye.”
The nine alleged victims were the only witnesses called by Kootenai County deputy prosecutors Marty Raap and Ann Wick. The Press doesn’t identify such alleged victims.
The prosecution rested its case late Thursday.
Critchfield’s defense attorney, James Siebe, is scheduled to start calling his first witnesses today. Critchfield is expected to take the stand at some point, likely at the very end of the trial, before closing arguments.
The girl, the final prosecution witness, was teary at times but appeared to stay composed under questioning from both Raap and Siebe. She told the court that Critchfield touched her most private area when he threw her into his pool at his Coeur d’Alene Place home.
She testified that Critchfield grabbed her in the same area while holding her down on his bed at home, and that he showed her porn on his computer and on his TV from a VHS tape. She also said that he showed her pictures on his camera of people having sex. She said she believes it was Critchfield and his wife in the pictures.
“He put it right in my face,” she said.
She said he showed her a home video she believed was made by him too.
“I was shocked,” she said.
She also recalled Critchfield asking her, “Have you ever touched a penis before?”
The girl said she was over at Critchfield’s house frequently, playing videos and with friends. She estimated that she went over to his house “twice a week or every other day” for a year.
First Judicial District Court Judge Charles Hosack is presiding over the trial, which is expected to last through at least the first part of next week.
Each lewd conduct count against him carries a sentence of up to life imprisonment, and each sexual abuse count carries a sentence of up to 25 years in prison. There are a total of nine counts, one for each alleged victim.
Also on Thursday, another 14-year-old girl testified that Critchfield grabbed her inappropriately and cussed her out after she called him a “pervert.”
A different 14-year-old girl, who also said she went over to his house regularly, said he touched her inappropriately repeatedly, including forcing his hand under her underwear.
Another, a 15-year-old, said Critchfield tickled her stomach and touched her chest.
One girl testified early in the day that she knew Critchfield well and thought many of the allegations were overblown, that she felt safe around him and didn’t believe he’d do what he’s been accused of doing. She said he would have stopped if somebody had told him to. She is one of the alleged victims.