One-Month Delay Ordered in Ex-ROTC Leader’s Trial
The sexual molestation trial of a former ROTC director at Redondo Union High School will be held up for a month because of a change in some key testimony by the alleged victim.
Torrance Superior Court Judge Francis J. Hourigan on Friday granted a stay to allow time for the defense attorney for retired Marine Master Gunnery Sgt. Allen Roth to investigate and respond to an amended criminal complaint.
The alleged victim is a former cadet in Redondo Union High’s ROTC program. Because she testified that she had picked the wrong date for one of the days she was allegedly molested by Roth, the district attorney’s office had to file a new criminal complaint against the 65-year-old defendant.
Hourigan dismissed one of the jurors Friday because of scheduling problems caused by the monthlong delay. An alternate juror will join the panel when the trial resumes Sept. 19. The trial is expected to last until the start of October.
During testimony last week, the former cadet, wavering under a volley of sharp questions from Roth’s attorney, changed several statements that she made earlier to police that led to sexual molestations charges against Roth.
The woman, now 18, testified that she guessed at the dates of the alleged sexual acts at an earlier court hearing.
Defense attorney Tony Capozzola noted that the teen-ager changed the date of the first sexual incident several times before settling on June 22, 1988. He said she also made a calendar entry about their relationship on June 31, a date that does not exist.
In her testimony, the woman also admitted that she gave police false information when she said she was repeatedly raped by Roth. But she stood by her claim that she and Roth had sex five times while she was a minor.
Roth is charged with four counts of oral copulation with a minor and one count of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor. If convicted, he faces more than five years in prison.