Jurors begin deliberations in Johnnie Swaim’s child molestation


Jurors begin deliberations in Johnnie Swaim’s child molestation trial

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Imperial Valley, CA - The molestation trial against former California Highway Patrol Lieutenant Johnnie Swaim is now in the hands of the jury. Swaim is accused of forcing his two daughters to perform him oral sex on him more than ten years ago.

The trial was expected to last about six weeks but the jury began deliberating around Wednesday just after 11am, less than two weeks into the trial.

During closing arguments, Swaim's defence attorney, Robert Espinoza, once again told the jurors his client's daughters told a great big lie claiming their father molested them. Espinoza says they were being teenagers acting defiantly against their father.

During rebuttal, Imperial County District Attorney Heather Trapnell told the jurors Swaim's daughters have no reason to make up a story that could land their father behind bars for a very long time.

Johnny Swaim sat confident as he heard his attorney's last attempt to convince the jury that he is innocent of molesting his daughters.

Espinoza says Swaim's oldest daughter manipulated her younger sister to lie about their dad forcing them to give him oral sex when they were little girls. Espinoza said this whole ordeal has victimized his client (Swaim) and destroyed his reputation.

However, Trapnell says the only victims are Swaim's daughters. Trapnell says the girls who are now teenagers both confessed to police that they had been molested by their father in two separate incidents.

The youngest daughter recanted her story during her testimony earlier in the trial and said her father never molested her. Trapnell says she was forced by her parents, with whom she still lives with, to testify in favor of Swaim.

Right now, it's a waiting game. There's no telling how long the jury will deliberate.

Overall, this trial was expected to last six weeks. It only lasted a week and a half. More than 10 witnesses were called to the stand. If convicted, Swaim could spend up to 24 years in prison.

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