The former Mohawk Correctional Facility officer facing sex charges against a child was in Oneida County court today for his trial. Hughes is accused of molesting his two young grandchildren from December 2010 until April 2011.
Assistant District Attorney Dawn Lupi told jurors in her opening statements they can expect testimony from the two girls, other family members, and a state investigator. She says Hughes' step-grandchildren are both accusing their step-grandfather of touching them in a way that made them feel uncomfortable. She said the jury will also be presented with audio recordings where Hughes does admit to some inappropriate behavior. Lupi told jurors she was sure they'd find him guilty once all the evidence has been presented.
In his statement, the Defense Attorney Richard Bach said there has been no investigation into the credibility of the girls and their claims, only into Hughes. While he would not say to Eyewitness News whether his client was innocent or guilty of some or any of the charges he's facing, he said there is no medical evidence proving his client's guilt, and Hughes played with his grandchildren only in an innocent, playful way. "They liked to fool around with 'Poppy,' as they called him," says Bach, "he came to them and they had physical contact just maybe like a parent, but not for the reasons, I don't believe, as alluded to by the district attorney."
Bach says his client will decide whether he wants to tell his version of the story after hearing all the testimony. He says he expects the trial to go on until January11th.