Trial to begin in alleged kidnap, sexual assault of girl, 5

Posted: August 20, 2014

CHRISTINA Regusters, the West Philadelphia woman arrested last year for allegedly abducting a 5-year-old girl from school and allegedly sexually assaulting her, will face a jury of her peers starting this week.

Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey Minehart and trial lawyers yesterday selected 12 jurors and four alternate jurors to hear the case, which is expected to last two to three weeks.

Minehart scheduled motion hearings for tomorrow and opening statements for Thursday.

Regusters, 21, is charged with aggravated assault, kidnapping, unlawful contact with a minor, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and related counts.

On Jan. 14, 2013, Regusters, an employee at an after-school program attended by the girl, went to Bryant Elementary School dressed in face-concealing Muslim clothing and took the child out of class without showing proper identification, police said.

Regusters is accused of taking the girl to a house where she sexually abused her and then abandoning her in a nearby park wearing only a T-shirt.

Regusters has pleaded not guilty and has rejected a plea deal, according to court sources. She was arrested a month after the abduction and has been held in lieu of $4 million bail since.

Her attorney, W. Fred Harrison Jr., and Assistant District Attorney Erin O'Brien are barred from talking to reporters because of a gag order imposed by Minehart.

On Twitter: @MensahDean

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