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Jurors leave for weekend with no verdict in foster dad abuse trial

Cesar Gonzales-Mugaburu, of Ridge, is on trial, charged

Cesar Gonzales-Mugaburu, of Ridge, is on trial, charged with sexually abusing foster children in his care. Jury deliberations began on Monday, April 24, 2017, in Riverhead. Credit: SCDA

The jury in the trial of Cesar Gonzales-Mugaburu, charged with sexually abusing his foster sons, completed its fifth day of deliberations without reaching a verdict on Friday.

The panel of six women and six men in Suffolk County Court in Riverhead asked for read backs of testimony by three prosecution witnesses, including Scott Modell, an expert who works with crime victims with disabilities. Modell testified though it was difficult for the average person to lie, it was even harder for someone with intellectual disability to do so.

Gonzales-Mugaburu, 60, is accused of sexually abusing six boys between 1996 and 2016 when the children came to Ridge to live with him as his foster sons. He’s also charged with endangering the welfare of two other boys, and sexual misconduct that involved a dog.

Gonzales-Mugaburu, who was arrested Jan. 20, 2016, has pleaded not guilty. He did not testify in his own defense.

On Thursday, the jury told Suffolk County Court Judge Barbara Kahn that members were deadlocked, but the judge ordered them to continue their deliberations.

On Friday, the jury asked to see a March 2015 police report in which one of the alleged victims, now 21, denied he was abused by Gonzales-Mugaburu when he was a boy. The jurors also wanted read backs of testimony from the detective who interviewed the boy but the judge told members the testimony does not exist because the detective did not testify.

Deliberations are scheduled to resume Monday.

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