Deliberations and readbacks of testimony continued Monday in the trial of Cesar Gonzales-Mugaburu, charged with sexually abusing his foster sons. But there was no sign of a verdict.
The panel of six women and six men in Suffolk County Court in Riverhead considered the case for a sixth day and at 5:15 p.m. sent out a note asking for another readback. Jurors wanted to hear the testimony of one of the alleged victims as well as the definition of the charge against the defendant of endangering the welfare of a child as it pertains to that person.
The jury will hear that readback Tuesday morning when it returns for a seventh day of deliberations.
Earlier Monday, they had listened to the court reporter read back the requested balance of testimony of a school psychologist at the Little Flower school and the school’s principal.
Both men had testified that on Jan. 6, 2016, they intervened on behalf of one of the alleged victims after the young man told them he did not want to go back to live with Gonzales-Mugaburu. The next day, the young man left Gonzales-Mugaburu’s house for good, and went to live and study at Little Flower, which has a school for children and developmentally disabled adults in Wading River.
The alleged victim, now 21, did not tell the school psychologist or principal that his foster father sexually abused him.
But the school psychologist testified that in 2013, he called child protective services when he suspected the young man was physically abused because he had come to school with a red mark on his face.
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, 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 deliberating.
The jury on Friday asked for readbacks of testimony by three prosecution witnesses, including Scott Modell, an expert who works with crime victims with disabilities. Modell testified that while it was difficult for the average person to lie, it was even harder for someone with an intellectual disability to do so.
On Friday, the jury also 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.