Trial continues for father accused of prostituting 7-year-old girl

Crime

James Stewart’s daughter was back on the witness stand Wednesday, but this time the defense spent the morning questioning the 8-year-old girl about her dad and even questioned her credibility.

Stewart’s attorney, Stefanie Gulley, asked the 8-year-old if she told the truth while on the stand Tuesday as she was questioned by prosecutor Brittany DuChaussee about drugs, sexual matters and being forced to steal.

“Do you feel like you have to give certain answers to Ms. Brittany?” Gulley said.

“Yeah,” the girl said.

Prosecutors have repeatedly accused Stewart of prostituting his daughter in exchange for drugs and paraphernalia. Wednesday, the defense questioned if the 8-year-old was sure she knew what drugs were.

“Is it possible that what you saw in those cigarettes was tobacco?” Gulley said.

“I don’t know,” the girl said. 

“Okay. But it could have been, right?” Gulley said.

“Yeah,” Stewart’s daughter said. 

When asked if she knew what a pipe, used to smoke drugs looked like, the girl drew a picture of what resembled one.

The 8-year-old’s former teacher at Lew Wallace Elementary school also testified, telling jurors the 8-year-old stood out because she consistently showed up to school hungry, tired and dirty

“She was not just dirty she was soiled,” Sandra Torres said. “And when I say soiled, I mean I wasn’t able to tell the color of her clothing anymore. She was completely radically different than her peers.”

After Stewart’s daughter testified Wednesday afternoon, there was talk of a mistrial. According to the defense, a witness broke the rules about what could be said in court. 

Thursday, the judge will decide whether the trial will continue.

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