No resolution in toddler sexual assault case

The Virginia Gazette

The trial for a Williamsburg man accused of sexually assaulting a toddler is continued until later this month.

Gary Joseph Trites, 34, is charged with child abuse and object sexual penetration, according to court documents. His trial began 9:30 a.m. Thursday in Williamsburg/James City County Circuit Court.

By the end of the day, the prosecution had finished presenting its case, but the defense had only called its first witness, court officials said. Some witnesses were not available Friday, so the trial was continued, and will resume at 1 p.m. Sept. 22, according to the Circuit Court clerk's office. 

Trites charges stem from two days in December 2013 when an 22-month-old girl was left in the care of a relative who was dating Trites at the time, Williamsburg Police said.

Trites is being held at Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail, court records state. In a Facebook post, Trites said he is innocent of the charges.

According to court documents, after the child's mother picked her up from her relative's Williamsburg home a few days after Christmas in 2013, she noticed the toddler was injured and took her to the hospital.

Authorities began investigating after an examination showed the toddler had injuries to her back, buttocks, stomach, chest, chin, ears, forehead, legs and genital area, charging documents state.

Investigators found the girl's injuries to be consistent with child abuse and sexual penetration.

Witnesses told investigators that the child was around Trites and at times, unsupervised over the course of roughly two days. No other adult had similar access to the child during that time period, police said.

The child's demeanor changed, and she began exhibiting clingy behavior, and began crying a lot, especially when she found out she'd be left with the relative and Trites again, witnesses told authorities.

In initial interviews, Trites said he didn't know how the 22-month-old was hurt, but later told investigators he was aware of the toddler's forehead injury. 

Michele Canty can be reached at 757-345-2341.

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