Girl, 7, who was alleged kidnap victim testifies

Posted: August 29, 2014

THE YOUNG witness at the center of the Christina Regusters trial couldn't recall yesterday much of the heinous abuse she endured 19 months ago after she was kidnapped from Bryant Elementary School.

Dressed in a lime-green tiered skirt, a black top and a pink cardigan, the bespectacled child took the stand and answered prosecutor Erin O'Brien's questions in a hushed tone   in front of a packed courtroom that remained quiet from the moment she stepped into the room. Judge Jeffrey Minehart had directed that no one should leave during the girl's testimony.

The child, whose name is being withheld by the Daily News because she is a victim of sexual assault, recalled leaving Bryant with a woman dressed in Muslim clothing, whom she believed to be her mother, walking to a house with her and being blindfolded.

The girl, now 7, remembered that a female took the blindfold off and "carried me to the park" to escape the house, she said. The woman told the child to ask for help from anyone she saw. The girl eventually saw a man.

"When you saw him, what did you say?" asked O'Brien, who sat near the girl during questioning.

"Help," the girl answered.

Regusters is charged with kidnapping and other crimes and is believed to have posed as the girl's mother, wearing a head veil and overgarment when she entered the school in January 2013. After the child was found by a stranger in an Upper Darby playground the next day, the girl was found to have been sexually assaulted anally and vaginally, authorities have said.

In earlier testimony yesterday, the child's mother broke down when she recalled seeing her daughter for the first time after the kidnapping. The normally "upbeat" girl "looked sleepy" and held her arms across her body, she said.

"I said, 'Hi, Boo,' [but when] I tried to hug her, she started screaming," the mother said. " 'What's wrong?' " she said she asked her daughter. " 'I hurt. I hurt,' " the girl replied.

Some female jurors wiped away tears and passed around tissues as the mother spoke and a photo was shown of the victim from the day she was found. The girl, dressed in a T-shirt, appeared joyless in the image.

Regusters, now 21, allegedly sneaked the girl into a house by stuffing her into a laundry bag, told her to take off her clothes and glasses and ordered her under a bed, prosecutors say.

The child said she encountered three people: the "lady" who took her, a teenage girl and a man.

Prosecutors nixed the idea that a man was involved and believe that Regusters played both female roles and tricked the girl into believing a man was there.

The child couldn't remember an assault or how she lost a tooth or details about the house. When O'Brien asked her about anything bad that may have occurred, the child answered: "I don't remember."

But she remembers being in pain at the park. "I felt it," she said. "I just remember hurting."


On Twitter: @ReginaMedina

Online: ph.ly/DNEducation

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