CONCORD, N.H. - An Ontario man told a New Hampshire court Wednesday that he spent a long weekend in a Niagara Falls, Ont., motel room, having sex with a 14-year-old girl and her mother — a U.S. lawyer who videotaped the encounter.
The woman, who is not being identified to protect her daughter's identity, is a "predator," a U.S. federal prosecutor told jurors at the start of a shocking child sex abuse trial.
U.S. Attorney John Kacavas told jurors the mother deserves to be convicted on multiple counts of child sexual exploitation and pornography.
The charges stem from an investigation that started when another man who had sex with the mother and daughter turned himself in to police after learning the girl's age.
Kacavas said the woman, in a jailhouse call to her daughter, said "I should have been the mom, not the friend."
But she was neither, Kacavas said.
"The defendant was her pot pusher, her pornography producer and her predator," he told the jury. Kacavas told jurors that one count alleges the woman videotaped herself having oral sex with her daughter.
James Moir, the accused's lawyer, implored jurors to focus on whether prosecutors prove every element of each of the charges beyond a reasonable doubt.
"The issue is not whether (she) is morally depraved," Moir said. He acknowledged that the allegations are "shocking, reprehensible and despicable."
The lawyer was a member of, and had advocated for, the Alliance Defending Freedom — an anti-gay Christian group.
Two men testified they had sex with the woman and with her daughter multiple times during separate encounters in 2012, one in Niagara Falls and the other at the attorney's home in Manchester, N.H. Both said the accused recorded several of the sexual encounters on a smartphone.
Kevin Watson, of Niagara Falls, Ont., testified he spent a long weekend in May, 2012 with the mother and daughter in a motel room in Niagara Falls. He said he met the girl online and that they had sexually explicit Skype sessions before the rendezvous about three weeks after the girl's 14th birthday.
Watson, 20, said the woman told him it was her daughter's first time having intercourse, and videotaped that and other sexual encounters during the weekend.
Police told him they would not press charges of having sex with a minor and making child pornography if he testified in the U.S. against the woman, Watson told the court.
Throughout his opening remarks, Kacavas made a mantra of the phrase, "She should have been a mom" in pointing up all the things he said she really was. But as testimony progressed, his drum beat became, "Let me show you another video."
As jurors watched videotaped evidence of various sexual encounters between two young men and the 14-year-old, the defendant averted her eyes from the laptop screen in front of her and dropped her head into one hand.
Brandon Ore of Lebanon, N.H., testified he met the mother and daughter after responding to a personals ad placed by "two girls, 18 and 33, looking to party." He ultimately moved in with them in July of 2012, and said it was weeks later that he learned they were mother and daughter, and that the girl was 14.
He moved out two months later and turned himself in to police, triggering the lawyer's arrest.
"The partying was out of control, the sex was out of control and she was charging high rent," Ore said, when asked why he left.