Trial for Man Accused of Sexually Abusing Baby Begins
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Richard Dallas, 24, is charged with predatory sexual assault against a child, aggravated sexual abuse, and endangering the welfare of a child.
"It's been horrifying and stressful. It's been really hard on me and my kids are taking it really hard," said the baby's mother, who we are not identifying. She was the first to take the stand Tuesday. She says it's been difficult to relive that day but she's trying to keep it together for her kids.
Mom testified that when she left her daughter in Richard Dallas' care on the morning of November 30th, her baby was fine. She returned later that afternoon to find her child was not doing well.
"She was white as a ghost. She looked at me and went right back to sleep," said Mom.
Wayne County District Attorney Rick Healy says the baby was grunting and grasping for breath. Mom called 911 and the baby was first taken to Newark Wayne Community Hospital and them almost immediately to Strong. Healy says the baby had worsened overnight and doctors decided to do exploratory surgery. That's when they found severe, life-threatening injures to the baby's colon.
"The allegations are so horrible and the injuries are so ba... and to a nine-month old. It's difficult for all of us," said Healy.
Healy said Dallas told police different stories about what happened that day. First, he told them he caught a friend of his raping the girl. Then he admitted he made that story up and instead told them he inserted his finger in the baby's anus to help her go to the bathroom.
Lyons Police Chief Richard Bogan helped conduct those interviews.
"We worked closely with the District Attorney and the Monroe County and State Police labs," explained Bogan. "It's a case not so much as a police officer but as a parent really gets your attention and makes you focus on what you have to do."
Healy said DNA found in the baby's fluids and on the child's diapers match Dallas.
Dallas' attorneys say he's not guilty and they challenged the credibility of some witnesses. His family did not want to talk on camera but told us they don't believe it and they're in the courtroom to show their support.
Meanwhile Mom says her daughter is getting healthier. She says the girl still has some inflammation in her stomach and intestines. The baby and Mom's two other children are all in foster care. Mom says she's working to get them back
If convicted Richard Dallas faces 25 years to life in prison.
That's what Mom is hoping for too. "I hope he gets life. If the electric chair were still legal I would've wished he got that."