WARSAW — With over seven more hours of testimony after the lunch recess, the two attorneys left the jurors with a lot to consider as they went into deliberation.
The sexual misconduct trial of State vs. Dominic Fisher continued on Wednesday afternoon, Sept. 21 with the testimonies of two more state witnesses and the accused, Fisher, taking the stand.
The first witness called was Detective Todd Sautter of the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department. Sautter assisted in the sexual misconduct investigation that related to this case. The majority of the testimony was through the presentation of evidence, a video tape recording of Sautter’s interview with Fisher on May 26, 2015.
During the recording, Fisher stated, “She [the stepmother] came over screaming at me saying that [her daughter] had told her something happened. She said that we slept together or something,” he continued. “I have no idea what she’s talking about.”
After further questioning by Sautter, Fisher said, “She never babysat. I try not to be alone with her because she gives me bad feelings anyways.”
During the cross examination of Sautter by Marielena Duerring, the defense attorney, Duerring concentrated on the training of the responding officer, Kosciusko County Sheriff Deputy Tom Waikel, and the way the investigation was handled in general.
Sautter admitted that “In a perfect world,” the initial interview would have been done by an officer with more specific training in the areas of children and sexual cases. Sautter also admitted to not having listened to the initial interview when the teenage girl was first brought in for questioning and not interviewing the girl’s father throughout the case.
The next and last witness the state called was Bambi Fisher, the legal husband of Dominic Fisher. Under questioning by Katie Hampton, deputy prosecuting attorney, Bambi described the planning that led up to her leaving with her children on Spring Break.
According to Bambi, the plan was she was to take the older children, leaving Fisher alone with their youngest child, because he had to work. Bambi stated that Fisher’s mother would watch the child while Fisher worked, and that the teenage girl would fill in as needed in the evening hours.
Bambi continued to describe how their relationship had been “troubled.” After the accusations, Fisher initially denied having sexual misconduct with the girl. Bambi stated that his story changed a few weeks later.
“Then finally one night I was over there talking to him and he kept saying he was sorry,” Bambi recalled in tears. “I asked him why and he said because he was stupid.” Bambi went on to testify that Fisher admitted to having sex with the girl twice. Bambi could not remember the exact date that Fisher admitted the sexual misconduct, but could recall that it was at night and it was raining.
Bambi also testified that she knew there were condoms in the house. She testified that she had been counting them and noticed that one day there were two missing.
During the cross examination by Duerring, she questioned about the fact that Bambi let her two teenagers continue to go over to Fisher’s house. Bambi testified that she let her children continue to use their normal bus route, which let the children off at Fisher’s house after school. She stated that she instructed her two daughters who weren’t biologically related to Fisher to not enter the house and wait on the porch until she picked them up.
At this point in the trial, the state rested and the defense called their first and only witness to the stand, Fisher.
Fisher continued to state that there was no way he was alone at his house with the teenage girl and that the sexual intercourse had never occurred. “Absolutely not,” Fisher emphasized.
Fisher went on to state that after the accusations, the children continued to get dropped off from the bus at his house and would sometimes stay for one, two, even three hours. Fisher continued to answer questions brought up by Duerring, going on to state that his brother had admitted to using some condoms from the bathroom.
After Fisher’s testimony, both attorneys were welcomed to state their closing arguments to the jury.
Hampton’s closing argument revolved around the issue that the teenage daughter, the mother and Bambi all testified that the teenager regularly babysat and she babysat over spring break. Hampton stated that for Fisher’s testimony to be true, all three of theirs would have to be false.
“Now you have to weigh the credibility of sources,” Hampton said. “Based on the totality of the evidence you have heard today, the state is asking that you find Dominic Fisher guilty of counts one and two of sexual misconduct.”
The defense’s closing argument concentrated on the issue of the teenager’s mother asking for a lie detector test during the initial 911 call and that the teenager was a young girl who knew she was in trouble.
“She asks for the police to come out and administer a lie detector test. Why is this Important? [The mother] who knows [her] better than anyone else in this courtroom had doubt.” Duerring continued to argue, “We talked about the fact that everyone lies, but in this case we are talking about the fact that a teenager lied. That a teenager was impulsive.”
After the closing arguments, the jury was given a 25-page document of rules and were sent for deliberation around 7:30 p.m.