Mueller trial wraps upAttorneys gave their closing arguments in the criminal sexual conduct trial of Simon Christopher Mueller Tuesday morning.
By: Sarah Gorvin, The Republican Eagle
Attorneys gave their closing arguments in the criminal sexual conduct trial of Simon Christopher Mueller Tuesday morning.
Mueller, 27, 28029 Gadient Lane, has been charged with nine counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and five counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct for allegedly molesting three girls ages 3, 4 and 6.
"In the world of little girls, there are princesses and stuffed animals,” Assistant Goodhue County Attorney Erin Kuester said. “There isn’t … knowledge of sex.”
Kuester asked the court to find Mueller guilty of all 14 charges, adding that it is the job of parents, guardians, caretakers and day care providers to make sure girls “remain in the world of little girls as long as possible.”
“The defendant failed to do that,” she said. “He brought them into the adult world.”
“The state has not proved Simon Mueller guilty beyond reasonable doubt,” defense attorney Douglas Bayley countered, adding that most of the state’s case is based on the three girls’ testimonies.
“There were many, many inconsistencies and differences in their statements,” Bayley said. “There is no physical evidence and no eye witnesses.”
The court trial, heard by First District Judge Kevin Mark, began Feb. 21, and included testimony from counselors who treated the girls, medical doctors, the girls’ mothers and others.
The three girls, who are now 4, 5 and 7 years old, also took the stand. Each has a significant relationship to Mueller.
According to court complaints filed in June and December 2011, Mueller sexually touched the girls with his hands, penis or tongue on multiple occasions. He has been held in Goodhue County Jail since June with bail set at $150,000.
In court Tuesday, Kuester continued that all three of the girls had in fact been consistent in their statements. She added that the children repeatedly stated Mueller had touched them, that the type of abuse was consistent in each of their statements and that Mueller had repeatedly been identified as the one who touched them.
“In all of the cases, the children have been entirely consistent,” Kuester said, adding that it would have been abnormal for the girls to use the exact same words in each statement. “Children are not robots,” she said.
Bayley argued that the girls had spent time together in between each of their first disclosures about the alleged abuse and were telling investigators and counselors stories to get attention. He said new siblings to the girls’ families and moving to different houses or states caused stress in their lives, making them seek attention.
“They knew what answers got them positive reinforcement,” Bayley said. “They gave those answers then.”
Bayley also argued that the investigation was rushed. He stated that Mueller was the only person investigated after the girls’ statements, even though there were four other males who had access to the children.
“(Investigators) never considered others,” he said.
Judge Mark will now review the evidence. He said he expects to have a verdict this week or early next week. If convicted, Mueller faces up to 30 years in prison and a $40,000 fine for each first-degree charge.