On video, defendant denies sexual assault | NevadaAppeal.com

On video, defendant denies sexual assault

by F.T. Norton
Appeal Staff Writer
Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal

The alleged 8-year-old victim of repeated rapes last year on Champion Drive is expected to tell a Carson City jury today that the man he called “Uncle Jerry” did “gross things” to him.

Gerald Karpe, 43, is on trial for six counts of sexual assault of a child. He is being held on $100,000 bail.

Jurors on Wednesday saw a videotaped interview with Karpe in which he denied sexual contact with the victim who had frequented Karpe’s trailer to play video games.

“I have nothing to hide,” said Karpe, when he voluntarily spoke with investigators about the allegations against him. “I don’t understand how this is even coming all about.”

Former Carson City Detective Keith Bopko asked Karpe if he’d ever had intercourse with the boy, saw the boy naked, showed the child pornography or performed oral sex on him. Each time, Karpe would respond with a drawn out, sing-songy, “No.”

Bopko said that the video tape didn’t portray very well how Karpe was sweating, had shifty eyes, and fidgeted throughout the interview, which Bopko said were signs of deception he’d learned in at least five different courses on interview techniques.

On cross examination, Defense Attorney Marcie Flygare disputed that her client was fidgeting, sweating and laughing more than a “normal person.”

“Isn’t laughing a normal reaction to stress?” she asked. To which Bopko replied, “No.”

Family Nurse Practitioner Denise Cornell told the jury that a Child Abuse Response Exam of the boy revealed he had injuries to his anus that could indicate he’d been sexually abused.

But on cross-examination, Cornell agreed that the injuries she noted could have come about from a bowel movement.

The victim’s mother took the stand first thing Wednesday morning to talk of her son’s change in behavior prior to his revelation that “Uncle Jerry” was molesting him.

“He was very angry, very irritated,” she said. “The slightest thing would upset him.”

She said once she and her husband moved all three children to Hawaii, her son’s behavior improved, until she told them they were coming back to Carson City to help sell their grandparent’s house so they could all live in Hawaii together.

“He said he did not want to come back and see Uncle Jerry. He was mad,” she said. “I finally asked him why and he said ‘I don’t want to see Uncle Jerry, he touched me.'”

The mother said she didn’t question her son because the other children were around, but the following day after sending her husband to the store, she asked her child what he meant and her 7-year-old boy told of acts of oral sex and intercourse that Karpe allegedly made him endure.

Two days later when they were back in Carson City, the mother called police and made the report.

On cross-examination the defense got the mother to admit that her son said, “If Uncle Jerry goes to jail, can I have his Playstation?”

Testimony will resume at 9 a.m. today.

• Contact reporter F.T. Norton at ftnorton@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1213.