Sergeant found guilty of molesting young girl
May 5, 2006
KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — A 90th Personnel Services Battalion soldier was sentenced to six months confinement after being found guilty at a court-martial Wednesday on charges of indecent acts or liberties on a child under the age of 16.
A seven-member panel also sentenced Army Sgt. Todd R. Marchesano to a bad-conduct discharge, reduction to private and forfeiture of pay and allowances.
On or about May 27, 2005, Marchesano touched a then-7- year-old female friend of his daughter who was spending the night at the Marchesanos’ Kaiserslautern-area home. The victim testified Tuesday that Marche- sano touched her “on the front part and back part.”
The victim said it was embarrassing and lasted for a couple minutes.
“He told me I had to promise not to tell anybody,” the victim said.
The girls had spent the day playing together and set up a tent to sleep in that night.
The defense contended that the victim misconstrued Marche- sano’s actions when he picked her up from the tent to move her inside the house to sleep for the night.
“She was a sleepy 7-year-old who was being taken from a tent into a house to go to sleep,” said David Court, Marchesano’s civilian defense counsel.
Prosecuting counsel Capt. Jocelyn Doehling asked the panel members to use their common sense in determining if the young victim was fabricating her story.
“Is a 7-year-old capable of saying, ‘He touched me in those places. He then asked me not to tell, made me promise not to tell?’” Doehling asked. “Is a 7-year-old capable of forming that type of lie?”
Doehling also noted that if Marchesano was simply moving the victim from the tent to the house, then why did he make her promise not to tell, “unless he is exhibiting consciousness of guilt?”
Marchesano faced a maximum sentence of seven years’ confinement, dishonorable discharge, reduction to private and forfeiture of all pay and allowances.