When he was 8 years old living in Ridge, a North Carolina man told jurors in a Riverhead courtroom Wednesday, his foster father came into his bedroom in the middle of the night and molested him.
Sometimes, he testified, his foster father, Cesar Gonzales-Mugaburu summoned him to his bedroom. On those occasions, Gonzales-Mugaburu would play gay pornography before sexually abusing him, the man said.
His testimony came in the third week of Gonzales-Mugaburu’s trial before Suffolk County Court Judge Barbara Kahn. Gonzales-Mugaburu is charged with sexually abusing six foster and adopted sons in his home as well as a dog. The most serious charge, predatory sexual assault against a child, carries a maximum sentence of 25 years to life.
Gonzales-Mugaburu, 60, who was arrested January 2016, has pleaded not guilty.
In testimony Wednesday, the man became uneasy when Suffolk Assistant District Attorney Christina Pinnola asked him to describe in detail how, when he was a young boy, Gonzales-Mugaburu forced himself on the witness.
“How did that feel,” Pinnola asked.
“Very uncomfortable,” said the man, whom Newsday is not identifying.
The man, 24, is the sixth and last of the prosecution witnesses to testify that Gonzales-Mugaburu molested them. He testified Wednesday that within weeks of his arrival at the Ridge home, Gonzales-Mugaburu sexually molested him.
The molestation, which the man said occurred regularly, continued after Gonzales-Mugaburu adopted him, and lasted for about five years, he testified.
Defense attorney Donald Mates Jr. of Hauppauge said his client did not sexually abuse anyone. Gonzales-Mugaburu had been a foster parent to more than 100 boys over two decades, Mates said, and had never been arrested for molesting his children previously.
The man — who said Gonzales-Mugaburu routinely beat with his hands and a belt — testified that he didn’t tell anyone about the sexual abuse because he feared his foster father. He testified he never told his teachers, his therapists or the social workers who came to the Ridge home to check on his foster and adopted brothers.
When he lived briefly at Brunswick Hospital Center in Amityville and Sagamore Children’s Psychiatric Center in Dix Hills before returning to Gonzales-Mugaburu’s home, the man testified he never mentioned the abuse.
Eventually, the witness said, he moved out of Gonzales-Mugaburu’s house and went to live in a residential home in Pennsylvania, where he said he disclosed the molestation to a male employee. That employee, the man said, did not report the sexual abuse allegations to the authorities.
“So, he did nothing,” Pinnola asked the man.
“No,” he replied.
The witness, who currently works as a cook, said he has been living on his own for about four years.
He said he had been arrested for stealing a protein bar, cashing a forged check, and assaulting an ex-girlfriend.
The prosecution is expected to wrap up its case Thursday, and so far has not presented any forensic or independent evidence to corroborate the sexual abuse allegations.
The case has relied largely on the testimony of the six witnesses, all of whom testified they were molested by Gonzales-Mugaburu. Some of the witnesses corroborated each other’s accounts.
The Suffolk County crime laboratory conducted a DNA analysis of beddings taken from Gonzales-Mugaburu’s bedroom at the time of his arrest, and found no forensic evidence to suggest that Gonzales-Mugaburu engaged in sex acts with any of the boys on his bed.