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Jury deliberating former agent's fate

May 07, 2002|By MARIO RENTERÍA

Staff Writer

Jury deliberations started Monday in the trial of a 45-year-old former U.S. Border Patrol agent accused of six counts of lewd sexual acts with a minor under age 14.

The jury deliberated for about an hour Monday and was expected to continue deliberations at 9 this morning.

Joseph Soccoro Olvera is accused of molesting an El Centro girl from the time she was in the second grade through the fifth grade.

Olvera's attorney, Thomas Storey of El Centro, called his final witness Monday. That witness was Raymond Murphy, a psychologist from San Diego.

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Murphy said he conducted a series of tests on Olvera and his conclusion was Olvera was "less likely" to be a pedophile. He said none of the tests conducted can determine whether a person is or can be a child molester or pedophile.

He talked about "child sexual abuse accommodation syndrome," which basically means the victim could have manifested her allegations.

County District Attorney Deputy Deborah Owen called Dr. Alan Abrams, a psychiatrist at Centinela State Prison, as a rebuttal witness.

Abrams testified there is no real scientific test that can point out a child molester or pedophile.

He also mentioned the difference between a child molester and a pedophile. He said a pedophile is someone who has fantasies about arousing a child. It can be someone who downloads child pornography from a computer but doesn't have to act on their desires.

A child molester is someone who sexually touches a child, but that doesn't necessarily mean the person is a pedophile. A child molester could be a stepfather who comes home drunk one night and molests his stepdaughter one time, Abrams said.

Abrams said Olvera might not be a pedophile or have the characteristics of one but that doesn't mean he's not a child molester.

In his closing argument, Storey said he doesn't know why the child would have manifested her allegations but it is a possibility.

He pointed to her inconsistent allegations. She reportedly said one of the times she was molested was after Olvera picked her up from school and took her home because she was feeling sick.

The problem, Storey said, is strangers can't pick up children at school and Olvera is not her father. Olvera was having an affair with the girl's mother that lasted for about four years.

Storey also mentioned the fact that no medical exams were performed on the girl to determine whether she had been molested.

He added the fact that Olvera testified shows he has nothing to hide.

During her closing arguments, Owen talked about the inconsistencies Storey mentioned.

She said, "This is something that she (the girl) probably doesn't want to remember.

"She has nothing to gain by sitting in the witness stand and lying to you," Owen told the jury.

"The only one that has reason to lie is Mr. Olvera," she said, pointing at Olvera.

She mentioned testimony regarding lewd comments made by Olvera to other agents about another young girl as showing his mindset regarding young girls.

Owen said the reason Olvera testified was to make himself look good in front of the jury.

>>Staff Writer Mario Rentería can be reached at 337-3441.

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