An 8-year-old New Mexico girl testified Tuesday her father forced her to inappropriately touch his friends in exchange for "weed and pipes and things," KOB reported.
James Stewart, 38, is charged with promoting prostitution, human trafficking, child abuse and criminal sexual contact of a minor, KRQE reported.
On Monday, Stewart's attorney said parents should be "terrified" to see her client prosecuted, the Albuquerque Journal reported.
“Ladies and gentlemen, my client is not guilty of any of these charges and the state’s not going to have any evidence for you,” defense lawyer Stefanie Gulley told the court. “And frankly, anybody who’s a parent should be concerned that anybody could bring these charges against any parent.”
The girl, who is not being identified, was 7 when the incidents are alleged to have taken place.
According to prosecutor Collin Brennan, agents searched Stewart's storage shed and found girls' underwear that contained "three different male DNA detections … one being of the defendant," the Journal reported.
The attorney general’s office opened an investigation after a school employee at Lew Wallace Elementary School contacted agents to report her suspicion that the student was being trafficked, the newspaper reported.
In addition to the allegations of inappropriate behavior, the girl testified she asked strangers to buy her food, KOB reported.
“We had to panhandle. Dad took half of the money and gave the other half to Mom,” the girl testified.
The trial is expected to last all week, KRQE reported.
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