• On the stand, teen describes sexual assault
    By Eric Blaisdell
     | December 11,2012
     

    BARRE — The trial of a Williamstown man accused of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl in Berlin in 2010 got under way Monday.

    Billy J. Lacillade, 44, is facing one count of felonious sexual assault and, if convicted, a maximum penalty of life in prison and a $25,000 fine.

    In Washington County criminal court in Barre, the state offered testimony Monday from the teen as well as Lacillade’s wife, the doctor and nurse who treated the alleged victim afterward, and law enforcement officers. The trial resumes at 9 a.m. today, with the state expected to offer testimony on DNA before the defense begins its rebuttal, including a claim that the sex was consensual.

    The teen testified that Lacillade arrived very drunk at the Berlin home of Lacillade’s wife, where the then-16-year-old was staying for the night of Aug. 28, 2010.

    The teen said that during the night Lacillade flirted with her and slapped her butt. She said she eventually went to bed and in the middle of the night Lacillade came into the bedroom where she was sleeping — which had no door but a shower curtain for privacy — and got into bed with her. The teen said Lacillade proceeded to touch her and sodomize her.

    She said she did not say anything during the event because she was scared and “didn’t know what was going to happen.” She said that during the assault, Lacillade asked her to please not tell his wife about what he was doing.

    Afterward, the teen said, Lacillade went out into the living room for a while and she started to cry. He then came back into the bedroom she was in and fell asleep in the bed with her, she said. The teen said she then went to a different room.

    She testified that she took a shower the next day and had Lacillade’s wife take her to the hospital around 2 p.m., where an examination was performed with a rape kit and she gave her statement to police.

    Lacillade’s wife testified that he came home angry and drunk on the night in question. She said Lacillade threw a lit cigarette at her and swore at her that night.

    During the course of her testimony, Lacillade’s wife began to get angry and cry. The prosecution had to remind her several times of what she had witnessed and had told police, and showed her the affidavit to confirm key aspects of the night.

    Lacillade’s wife said the teen told her that Lacillade had touched her all over but did not say anything about sodomy. She said the girl slept in the bed with her after the alleged attack “so she would feel safer.” The next morning, Lacillade’s wife said, she went to wake Lacillade by kicking him and calling him a pervert.

    Lacillade’s wife said she did not offer to take the 16-year-old home until the next day and that the girl refused, instead electing to go to the hospital.

    The nurse who carried out the rape kit examination testified that the teen was tearful during the exam but there were no signs of bruising or tearing from a forced sexual assault. The nurse said any “redness” from an assault could have disappeared since the teen had showered and it had been several hours since the alleged attack took place.

    Patrick Fleury, one of the Berlin police officers who handled the investigation, also testified Monday. He said that during questioning by Fleury and another officer, Lacillade changed his story about what happened that night several times and never denied having sex with the alleged victim but said he “didn’t remember it happening.”

    Fleury is no longer employed at the Berlin Police Department because of what he said was an alcohol offense for having alcohol in his system while on duty. Fleury said it happened because he had drunk alcohol the night before.

    Lacillade’s lawyer, Maggie Vincent, raised this issue because she said that during Fleury’s deposition for this case in 2011 he arrived smelling of alcohol. Fleury said he did not drink that day and did not recall if he had drunk the night before.

    eric.blaisdell

    @timesargus.com

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