Jury Seated in Teacher Sex Molestation Trial

May 28, 2015

[with video]

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. A jury has been seated in the sexual molestation trial against former Rosarian Academy teacher Stephen Budd.

Budd, 53, faces life in prison if convicted.

He's accused of serially molesting two 9 year olds in his classroom in 2006-07.

His attorney, Jason Weiss, asked potential jurors if they were so appalled by the charges that they could not be fair.

"Is there something so awful or distasteful in your mind, that the mere accusation against Mr. Budd makes you think that he's probably guilty?" asked Weiss.

Some in the pool answered that they did have problems with the charges and could not be impartial.

Budd is accused of having the girls perform sex acts on him under his desk while he taught, taking naked pictures of the girls and having them perform sexual acts on each other.

"I'm just very uncomfortable," said one woman. "I mean to the point I'm not sleeping." Prosecutors focused on whether jurors could come to a reasonable conclusion of guilt based mostly on the victims' testimony. There is also a recorded call made by police where one victim confronted Budd, who said he was saddened by the accusations, but never admitted directly to them.

The accusations came to light recently when Budd contacted one of the victims on Facebook, who then went to her parents and police.

Weiss also asked if jurors believe kids sometimes lie.

"Do you think it would be easy or difficult for a teenage girl to convince her parents they were touched inappropriately?" he asked one woman.

She replied: "It could be easy. It happened to me."

Opening statements are expected to begin Thursday morning.








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