BLOOMINGTON — Testimony at the trial of a former volunteer with the Boys & Girls Club of Bloomington-Normal opened Tuesday with a Bloomington teen who described her alleged rape in November 2017.
Julius Scott, 24, is charged with criminal sexual assault and aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a minor. He contends the sexual activity was consensual.
The alleged victim told jurors she was 16 when she met Scott at the club located on the city's west side. Her sister worked at the facility that provides support and recreational opportunities for youth ages 5 to 18.
During a social function on Nov. 16, 2017, the girl said she left the club with a friend and walked to nearby Sunnyside Park where Scott, then 22, also showed up, according to the testimony.
After the friend left the park, Scott, known to the girl as "D.J.," started kissing the minor and making sexual advances, the girl told the jury of seven women and five men.
The girl admitted she allowed Scott to kiss her once and carry her "for a few seconds" to another area of the park when he allegedly assaulted her.
"That's when things got a little serious," she said.
In a soft-spoken tone, the girl relayed graphic details of the alleged assault, including her claims that she tried to push Scott off her. Finally, she said, she was successful.
"I tried to walk away and he tried to catch up with me. I was crying. I was just trying to go home," the girl said in response to questions from prosecutor Erika Reynolds.
Scott allegedly called the girl the next day, but she refused to speak with him. The minor admitted she knew Scott was 22.
Defense attorney Jennifer Patton asked the girl about the contacts she had with Scott before the November incident. There were daily conversations on Snapchat, said the girl, and one photo she sent to Scott the day before the alleged assault. The photo shown in court shows a smiling teen.
The girl denied that Scott told her their relationship was over after he learned she was underage from several of his friends following the alleged rape.
Patton also asked the alleged victim about a situation involving the girl's failing grades in late May 2017. The girl said she disclosed the alleged assault after her grandmother, with whom she lived, threatened to take away her phone and punish her further for failing several subjects in school.
Tuesday afternoon jurors heard from Bloomington police Detective Curt Mass about an interview he conducted with Scott in May 2017. Jurors watched the videotaped interview in which Scott admitted having sex with the girl.
"We've had sex many, many times. It kind of just happened," Scott told the detective, before changing his statement to a single incident involving sex.
"She told me she was 17 and that's legal in the state of Illinois," Scott said in the interview that ended with his arrest on felony sex assault charges.
The trial continues Wednesday with the defense expected to present its case.