On Trial

Scott McCarter pled innocent of the charges of three counts of aggravated sexual assault, one count of sexual contact and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child. The charges were filed in July of 2004 and he was out on bail.

He had been accused of assaulting the 16 year old female relative of his wife (I have read it was his stepdaughter) and her 16 year old friend between 2001 and 2004. Shortly after the allegations were made, the teen moved out of the house. McCarter and the child's mother were not married at the time the alleged assaults took place. Allegedly the couple had argued about the allegations of the assaults, but later married.

The trial had begun, and Wed. the prosecution had played a tape in court of what McCarter had told police about the alleged assaults. Allegedly there was some graphic detail.

The trial was expected to continue on Thurs., however it will not be continued.

Scott McCarter did not show up for court on Thurs. when his defense to the charges were scheduled to begin. So a friend was sent to his home. That friend called police.

 Police say they found Scott McCarter slumped in a chair in the family home, dead from a single shotgun blast. His wife Wendy Bennett McCarter and his  7-year-old daughter, Melanie were found dead in the bed in the master bedroom. The couple's 12-year-old son, Scott Jr. was found in his own bed, also deceased.

Police believe that Scott McCarter shot his family then turned the gun on himself. They believe the shootings must have happened early, as the family was found in bed, and had not gotten up to start their day.

 http://www.app.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060526/NEWS03/605260407/1007/OPINION

http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/news/local/cumberland/story/6384987p-6240937c.html (sexual assault trial)

When your 16 year old child accuses the adult male in the home of abuse, who do you believe? The child? Or is it as the defense claimed, that the child was attempting to get even with the adults for stopping her from seeing her older boyfriend? Evidently, the mother chose to believe the boyfriend, as she later married him.

I wonder if something changed, as the prosecution had just played the tape that was made when McCarter was talking with deputies and claimed that he was just instructing the girls about hygiene and sex and that if he touched them it was accidental? I wonder if perhaps hearing the story he told deputies might have caused some question in Mrs. McCarter's mind? Or if maybe his story to them, might have differed from what he had told her?

This one is going to be tough for all concerned. Because of the fact that sexual abuse is normally done in secret, and unless some medical examination has produced evidence it almost always becomes a matter of 'he said, she said'. But McCarter did answer some questions on tape. Yet now with no defendant, we will never know who the jury found to be most believable.

But there are two kids out there who have gone through the examinations, the questioning by investigators and then the trial. And suddenly it all stops with no resolution, and 4 people are dead. If the allegations are true, just the assaults would likely cause some psychological scarring. But to have it end like this….. one of those girls lost her mother, and two of her siblings. That is a lot of psychological trauma. I hope they are able to recover from this.

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