LA PLATA, Md. (August 04, 2011)—A Charles County jury convicted Donald Richard Twigg, age 72, of incest, child sexual abuse and other charges for repeatedly sexual assaulting his daughter beginning in 1971 through 1979. The victim was between 7 and 15 years of age during that period.
The two day trial began Tuesday, August 2, with the jury reaching a verdict Wednesday evening. During the trial both the State and defense called several witnesses. The victim in the case, who is now in her 40's, testified that when she was 7 years-old Twigg began abusing her by coming into her room at night and touching her vagina. The abuse progressed in intensity as she got older, culminating with Twigg having vaginal intercourse with her from the ages of 12-15.
Aside from the victim's testimony, the key piece of evidence introduced by the prosecution was an October 9, 2010 telephone call between Twigg and the victim that was monitored and recorded by Charles County Sheriff Detective Kenneth Klezia. In the call, the victim confronted Twigg about the abuse. At one point in the 15 minute conversation, the victim asked Twigg, "What if I got pregnant?" Twigg responded, "That's why we used them things." His daughter replied, "What things? Condoms?" Twigg then says, "Yeah." His daughter concluded with, "I don't remember using those all the time." Twigg's reply was, "I do."
Twigg did testify on his own behalf and denied that he ever sexually abused his daughter. The defense also called three character witnesses. Although, the three witnesses did not know Twigg at the time of the crimes, they testified that they know him as a truthful and law-abiding man.
Assistant State's Attorney Tiffany Rodenberger argued the case for the State. In her closing argument she dubbed the defendant's explanation for his admissions in the recorded phone call "ludicrous." She also implored the jury to not feel sorry for the defendant simply because of his age and to hold him accountable for his actions.
Charles County State's Attorney Anthony Covington, stated he was very gratified with the verdict. "Sexual assault cases - especially those involving family members - are the most under-reported crimes in our society. I hope that other victim's out there will hear of this jury's verdict and will be encouraged to come forward to hold their abusers accountable and, just as importantly, free themselves of the emotional and mental prison that their abusers created for them", Covington said.
Twigg faces a total of 55 years imprisonment when he is sentenced on October 17, 2011.
Source: Office of the State's Attorney for Charles County