Doctor details kidnapped girl's injuries from alleged sex assault

Posted: August 28, 2014

JURORS IN THE trial of alleged abductor Christina Regusters were visibly shaken yesterday when shown graphic images of the alleged victim's horrific injuries.

One female juror wiped away tears with what appeared to be a napkin, breathing deeply as Dr. Cindy Christian, a pediatrician at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and a child-abuse expert, described photos showing that the girl had allegedly been sexually assaulted both anally and vaginally.

Two female jurors held their hands over their mouths. A male juror rubbed his face, and another simply turned his eyes toward the floor.

The girl was in "a significant amount of pain," Christian said. She examined the youngster - whose name is being withheld by the Daily News because she is an alleged victim of a sex crime - on a follow-up visit.

This was "a very, very significant injury," Christian testified. The child later underwent surgery for some of the injuries, she said.l

Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey Minehart cleared out the courtroom before the images were projected onto a screen, but he allowed reporters to remain.

Attorney Tom Kline, who represents the girl and her family, called the photos "shocking and disturbing." He has filed a lawsuit against the school district on behalf of the girl.

Regusters, 21, is accused of removing the girl from Bryant Elementary School in January 2013, posing as her mother, and taking her to a house where she allegedly forced the girl under the bed and blindfolded her. The girl was found the next day in Upper Darby, dressed only in a T-shirt.

The prosecution continued its case against Regusters, who is charged with aggravated assault, kidnapping and related crimes. Yesterday's testimony included the victim's siblings, a teacher at Heaven’s Little Angels day care and the day care's owner.

April Walker, who hired Regusters in February 2012, said she was a responsible employee who performed her duties in the toddler room well. "She was very pleasant and calm with [the children]," Walker said.

Regusters assisted teacher Sherrell Carter, who testified yesterday that she was the employee responsible for picking up the day-care children who attended the Cobbs Creek school and transporting them to the day care about a block away.

Carter said she was met with silence from the girl's kindergarten teacher, Reginald Littlejohn, when she had asked for the child.

The teacher eventually said, " 'Auntie came to get her,' " Carter said. "I know I made a face like 'it's impossible' because we weren't notified."

Later, after asking about the child's whereabouts to some Bryant staffers and being unable to locate her, she said, "Something is really, really, really not right here." Carter said she began running through the hallways of the school, screaming the child's name in an attempt to locate her.

"Where is this little girl? She got dropped off," she said, breaking down in tears. She had to call the girl's mother again.

The teacher said she was trying to alert the Bryant staffers to the urgency of the situation, but they were "nonchalant."

"There was no concern. . . . The assumption was she's somewhere in the school," Carter testified. "Nobody seemed to care."

On cross-examination by defense attorney W. Fred Harrison, Carter said Regusters "worked well with children" and she knew of no complaints against her.

The child, now 7, is expected to testify today, although it is unclear whether it will be in court or through video conference.


On Twitter: @ReginaMedina

Online: ph.ly/DNEducation

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