VALPARAISO | A portrait of dysfunctional families, who were close friends and watched professional wrestling on TV twice a week together, was presented to jurors in the opening of the molestation trial of Christopher Truman on Monday.
Truman, 39, of Portage, is facing nine counts of molestation involving four boys, the oldest of whom is now 23. Deputy Prosecutor Cheryl Polarek told the jury in her opening statement to expect evidence of actions that destroyed children and families, while defense attorney Larry Rogers called the allegations against Truman "ridiculous."
Polarek said the mother of one boy suspected something might be going on because Truman would go into the bedroom with her son and shut the door, and she would hear things she didn't like. When she asked her son if he wanted to tell her anything, he said "no" on several occasions but then texted her "Yes."
She told the man with whom she was having a relationship, and he asked his own son, who also had frequent contact with Truman. When asked about Truman, the second boy simply broke into tears, Polarek said.
The first boy told police Truman molested him hundreds of times at motels where he would take the boys to swim, watch wrestling and wrestle. The second boy said the molestation occurred only once. The 23-year-old said he was molested over a long period twice a week at Truman's house.
Rogers drew a chart of the confusing family relationships for the jury and said, "These young men are making this up as they go along. There is no basis to the stories. They are stories you might tell somebody who might believe it."
Rogers said the molestations could not have happened that many times without someone seeing something. One boy said his father walked in while Truman was molesting him, but the father turned around and walked away and did nothing.
Truman and his wife took the oldest one in and talked about adopting him because they couldn't have children of their own, Rogers said. The man allegedly still loves Truman and talked about wanting to change his last name to Truman.
Rogers said the motels have record of only one visit by Truman and a boy, but it is estimated to have happened eight or nine times rather than hundreds, as alleged, and involved swimming, watching wrestling, having pizza and going home.
The trial is being heard before Porter County Circuit Court Judge Mary Harper.