CONCORD (AP) - A New Hampshire lawyer is a "predator" who videotaped her 14-year-old daughter having sex with her and several young men, a federal prosecutor told jurors Wednesday at the start of a child sex abuse trial where the panel is being shown recordings of the shocking encounters.
U.S. Attorney John Kacavas, told jurors the mother deserves to be convicted on multiple counts of child sexual exploitation and pornography stemming from an investigation that started when one of the men said he turned himself in to police after learning the girl's age.
Kacavas said the woman, in a jailhouse call to her daughter, said "I should have been the mom, not the friend."
But she was neither, Kacavas said. "The defendant was her pot pusher, her pornography producer and her predator," he told the jury. Kacavas told jurors that one count alleges the woman videotaped herself having oral sex with her daughter.
James Moir, the defendant's lawyer, implored jurors to focus on whether prosecutors prove every element of each of the charges beyond a reasonable doubt.
"The issue is not whether (she) is morally depraved," Moir said. He acknowledged that the allegations are "shocking, reprehensible and despicable."
The Associated Press doesn't typically identify victims of sexual assault; it is not naming the mother to avoid identifying the girl.
Two men testified they had sex with the defendant and with her daughter multiple times during separate encounters in 2012, one in Canada and the other at the attorney's home in Manchester. Both said the defendant recorded several of the sexual encounters on a smartphone.
Throughout his opening remarks, Kacavas made a mantra of the phrase, "She should have been a mom" in pointing up all the things he said she really was. But as testimony progressed, his drum beat became, "Let me show you another video."
As jurors watched videotaped evidence of various sexual encounters between two young men and the 14-year-old, the defendant averted her eyes from the laptop screen in front of her and dropped her head into one hand.
Kevin Watson, of Ontario, Canada, testified he spent Memorial Day weekend of 2012 with the mother and daughter in a motel room in Niagara Falls, Ontario. He said he met the girl online and that they had sexually-explicit Skype sessions before the rendezvous about three weeks after the girl's 14th birthday.
Watson said the defendant told him it was her daughter's first time having intercourse, and videotaped that and other sexual encounters during the weekend.
Brandon Ore of Lebanon testified he met the mother and daughter after responding to a personals ad placed by "two girls, 18 and 33, looking to party." He ultimately moved in with them in July of 2012, and said it was weeks later that he learned they were mother and daughter, and that the girl was 14.
He moved out two months later and turned himself in to police, triggering the lawyer's arrest.
"The partying was out of control, the sex was out of control and she was charging high rent," Ore said, when asked why he left.
The lawyer was a member of, and had advocated for, the Alliance Defending Freedom - an anti-gay Christian group.