JAY – Delaware County prosecutors used a two-way video on Tuesday for a child to testify during a sexual abuse trial.
Kevin Wayne Swager, 31, of Rose, is charged in Delaware County District Court with child sexual abuse and child abuse, both felonies.
Swager’s trial started Monday.
The victim, now 12-years-old, testified by a two-way video that between the ages of 8 to 11, Swager touched her inappropriately several times.
“This is the first time in a Delaware County jury trial we have used this (two-way video set up)” said Prosecutor Laura DeLong at the conclusion of Tuesday’s testimony.
Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt signed into law in 2021 allowing witnesses to testify by two-way video during district court trials.
Sexual abuse advocates maintain this prevents further trauma for the victim as they do not have to come face to face with their alleged abuser. Opponents say this method violates the Sixth Amendment where an accused defendant has the right to confront the witnesses against him.
During the child’s testimony, District Judge Barry Denney, the victim, a prosecutor, a member of Swager’s defense team, and the court reporter were in one courtroom while Swager, his attorney, a prosecutor, and the 12 jurors and two alternate jurors were in another courtroom.
Swager was seen mostly keeping his head down during the victim’s testimony about the sexual abuse allegations.
The jurors also viewed an interview between Swager and Delaware County Sheriff Captain Brandon Houston.
In the video, Swager is seen confessing to touching the child.
“She asked me to stop – so I did,” Swager said.
The suspect is also observed laughing during the interview and in a serious tone states he “knew his wife would leave” and he would “never see his …kids again.”
At the conclusion of the video interview, Swager is observed in the video to be alone and apologized to the victim saying he was sorry and he “never meant for this to happen.”
Terry Allen, Swager’s attorney raised questions to Houston during cross-examination about Swager’s mental health issues.
“If he was innocent, he would have stated he’s innocent,” Houston said during cross-examination referring to Swager.
Allen also questioned Houston about why he did not further question Swager about his educational background. Houston said Swager’s educational history had nothing to do with the accusations.
Earlier the jurors viewed a forensic interview between the victim and Jill McAbee, Delaware County Children’s Special Advocacy Network director where the victim disclosed several accounts of sexual abuse by Swager.
The state rested its case around 3:40 p.m.
Swager is expected to take the stand on Wednesday.