Nevada County sexual abuse trial begins | TheUnion.com

Nevada County sexual abuse trial begins

Nevada County prosecutors characterized Jerry Mattson — whose sodomy trial began Tuesday — as a man who took advantage of a vulnerable girl, sexually abusing her after becoming her confidant.

In his opening statement, Deputy District Attorney Jesse Wilson said that Mattson, 27, abused the girl, under 14 years old at the time, twice in one day before offering her a deal: Allow him to abuse her once more with the understanding he'd then stop.

But Mattson didn't stop, he added.

"She continues to go his house," Wilson said. "Continues to associate with him."

Defense attorney David Alkire, who represents Mattson, said the girl who's accused his client also has accused four other men of molesting her. Alkire said jurors would hear that multiple investigations by the Sheriff's Office revealed those accusations were unfounded.

"She was known … as being a liar," Alkire said.

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Held on $500,000 in bond, Mattson faces two counts of sodomy of a person under 14 years old and one count of continuous sexual abuse. He faces three special allegations in connection with the sexual abuse charge, which focus on the acts Mattson is accused of performing, records state.

According to Wilson, the victim was a vulnerable child who knew Mattson. She trusted and confided in him, and he used that relationship to abuse her.

"The abuse went on for a couple of years," Wilson said. "It progressively got worse."

In January 2015 the victim was at Mattson's home, where he sodomized her three times that day after promising the abuse would stop. It didn't and she continued to associate with him, Wilson said.

The victim came forward in mid-2015 when she discovered other victims existed, he added.

The charges against Mattson, arrested in June 2015, involve only one victim.

Delivering his own opening statement, Alkire began by writing five names on a large piece of paper, including Mattson's. The victim over the years had accused all of them of molesting her. All investigations into those allegations proved unfounded, he said.

The victim had issues with school and at one point was suspended. Her mother asked Mattson to watch her one day, saying she couldn't cope, Alkire said.

On that day in January 2015 a social worker arrived at Mattson's home after he allegedly sodomized her twice. That person is required by law to report any abuse, he added.

"No report was generated," Alkire said. "No observation was made of abuse."

The victim later colluded with another girl, telling her she intended to accuse Mattson. At one point, once authorities became involved, the other girl wore a hidden recording device and spoke to Mattson, Alkire said.

"She attempted to get Mr. Mattson to agree that he had supposedly done these things to (the victim)," Alkire added. "He vehemently denied, strongly denied."

The trial is expected to continue into next week.

To contact Staff Writer Alan Riquelmy, email ariquelmy@theunion.com or call 530-477-4239.

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