Girl Testifies Over an Hour in Cowboy Preacher Abuse Trial

March 2, 2016

SIDNEY – A elementary school aged girl was on the stand over an hour Wednesday morning answering questions about what happened to her two years ago involving a former Sidney pastor accused of sexual abuse.

The girl described sexual contact while alone with Roger C. Kissel, 67, in 2013. In cross examination, she said her memories were strengthened when the state showed her a video of an interview conducted while in victim services.

In his opening statement, Fremont County Attorney Corey Becker told the jury there was no coaxing the girl when she first came forward to tell her mom what had happened. He said her testimony alone is enough to convict the former pastor of Sidney’s Cowboy Church.

Becker: “Over the course of the next few days the state is going to present evidence to you that will paint a disturbing picture. Picture of broken trust, a picture of abuse.”

Defense Attorney Michael Murphy said the girl allegedly told her mother of the abuse in July, but did not report it to police until September. Murphy said the mother went to police in retaliation for Kissel’s comment on Sept. 17 that he would turn her into social services for the way she was treating the girl.

Murphy said the mother told a friend and her husband in July, but no one went to authorities or confronted Kissel. Instead Murphy said, they continued to let Kissel have contact with the girl.

Murphy objected to Assistant Attorney General Denise Timmons whispering into the girl’s ear during a break in the cross examination.

The trial is expected to conclude on Friday.

Kissel is charged with sexual abuse and lascivious acts April through September of 2013.



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