Despite confession, sex offender claims he didn't molest five-year-old
A Spokane sex offender doesn't have the ability to control his impulses when he's gambling or around pre-teen girls, according to prosecutors at the trial of Richard Payne.
Payne, a registered sex offender, took the stand in his own defense Monday in the last days of his trial which, if convicted, could result in him being sent to prison for the rest of his life.
The worst thing about taking the stand in your own defense is that it opens yourself up to cross-examination by the prosecution and sometimes the state's questions can do more damage than the defendant's best answers.
Payne went fishing on July 21, 2012, the day he allegedly molested a five-year-old girl at NorthTown Mall. Monday morning on the witness stand he told the jury after driving to the Coeur d' Alene River he wound up at the Coeur d' Alene Casino where he lost his entire paycheck.
"After losing that money how did you feel?"
"Well I was sick. I was upset. It wasn't the first time I had done this in fact this gambling was a problem of mine," Payne said on the stand.
Payne says he dreaded going home to tell his girlfriend about his losses so he went to NorthTown Mall instead.
"I sat in the car for a minute, just worrying about everything. Decided to go walking; I walked inside the mall. Walking usually helps me think a little clearer," he said.
Payne said he didn't plan to walk inside the video arcade but under cross examination prosecutors accused him of seeking out another one of his vices, young girls.
"You stayed there because that young five year old excited you?"
"That's not true," Payne retorted.
Prosecutors say in the surveillance video jurors will be able to see Payne approach the alleged victim as she sat on a video game and pulled up her dress.
"And you placed you hand on the buttocks of the five year old who was sitting on the back correct?"
"No I did not do that," Payne replied.
"Because you though you could get a quick feel. Correct ?"
"That is not true," Payne said.
"And you did get a quick feel?"
"No I did not," Payne replied.
Payne also denied fondling or exposing himself, saying he was just re-tucking in his shirt. He also told the jury that even though he admitted to police that he had touched the girl he was just telling detectives what they wanted to hear to avoid getting arrested.
If the jury doesn't believe him and finds that Payne did touch the girl for the purpose of his sexual gratification he will automatically spend the rest of his life in prison.
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