Alleged sex abuse victim takes stand after Ridge foster father
One of the alleged victims of a Ridge foster father accused of sexually abusing his adopted sons took the stand Wednesday inside a Riverhead courtroom.
The man, now 21 years old, testified that he was just 10 when Cesar Gonzales-Mugaburu allegedly started sexually abusing him.
Gonzales-Mugaburu is accused of molesting six foster sons over 20 years and emotionally tormenting two others.
All the alleged victims have special needs. The jury was told that today's alleged victim has an IQ of 62.
The alleged victim testified that Mugaburu would not feed him, so when he was hungry he would "look in trash cans."
As for the alleged sex abuse, he said he felt "horrible" and "confused."
"Who would do that to their own kid?" he asked.
During the cross-examination, Gonzales-Mugaburu's defense attorney asked the alleged victim about a statement he had allegedly given to police in 2015. In that statement, he allegedly said he was not the victim of any kind of abuse.
"A year before Cesar's arrest, we have this witness denying anything happened, and calling...a foster brother a liar, saying he makes things up when he gets mad at Cesar," said attorney Donald Mates. "If that's not reasonable doubt, what is?"
District Attorney Tom Spota, who sat in the courtroom for the testimony, sees it differently.
"I find them very credible, believable, each one. While they're telling a little different version, it all comes down to one thing - that there was something bad going on in that house," said Spota.
Prosecutors have said Gonzales-Mugaburu used the foster care system to pad his own pockets, earning $18,000 a month to house the boys. He faces up to 50 years behind bars, if convicted.