on January 25, 2013 - 11:30 AM
LOCKPORT – A Niagara County Court jury will deliberate Monday on the fate of runaway sex crime defendant Paul S. Turley.
Testimony wrapped up Friday afternoon in the case of Turley, 47, of Lincoln Avenue, Dunkirk, who is accused of molesting two girls in North Tonawanda between August 1996 and June 1998, when they were between 5 and 7 years old. One of the girls allegedly was molested one more time, on Christmas Day 2003.
Earlier Friday Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas ordered the forfeiture of the $50,000 bail bond posted by Turley’s mother about a week after her son’s arrest Jan. 4, 2012.
Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth R. Donatello said Turley’s mother was asked to cooperate in the search for Turley and his wife, Diane.
Turley left the County Courthouse in Lockport at Wednesday’s lunch break in his trial on charges of molesting two girls, then ages 5 to 7, in North Tonawanda from 1996 to 1998.
Donatello said the mother “would not help. She would not assist. It appears his mother has no fear of forfeiture.”
Farkas said, “The people have to go through a procedure with the bail bondsman. Maybe he can start looking for him, too.”
Defense attorney D. Daniel Stevanovic said he hasn’t heard from Turley since Wednesday. “He hasn’t checked in with me or his sister,” Stevanovic said.
He did tell Farkas that Turley’s mother entered her son’s home and found paperwork on a table, but the couple’s dogs were gone.
“The wife may have taken them out,” Stevanovic said. “There’s no indication my client came home.”
Although Diane Turley also cannot be located, Stevanovic said, “There’s no evidence they’re together.”
Donatello said the prosecution did not present a police witness to discuss the manhunt for Turley, because his mug shot is in evidence. No announcement has been made to the jury about why Turley isn’t in court.
Farkas proposed to tell the jury in her final charge that they had probably noticed the defendant’s absence and that they shouldn’t draw any conclusions about his guilt from that fact. However, Stevanovic said he would prefer that Farkas not bring up the topic at all, and the judge agreed not to.
Turley is charged with first- and second-degree course of sexual conduct against a child and first-degree sexual abuse. He faces a maximum of 39 years in prison if convicted on all counts.
The second of the two alleged victims to take the stand testified Friday about her abuse by Turley. She said, “He would say if I told someone, they would take him away.”
The woman, now 21 and married, told the jury that when she turned 18, Turley told her, “Thank you for not telling the police.”
She didn’t report the abuse until November 2011, when she called North Tonawanda police. “We would wait until I was ready. It was my choice,” the woman said. “I had to protect other people.”