OSWEGO, NY â€“ The local businessman accused of sexual abuse took the stand Wednesday in his own defense.
When asked by Assistant District Attorney Donald Todd if he used his hand to masturbate the teen-age foreign exchange student he was hosting last fall, Anthony M. Pauldine replied, â€œAbsolutely not.â€
Wednesday was the third day of his trial.
Pauldine spent the entire day on the witness stand answering questions for nearly six hours, first from his attorney Anthony DiMartino and then Todd.
He was charged Oct. 26, 2009, with third-degree sexual abuse (a class B misdemeanor) and endangering the welfare of a child (a class A misdemeanor).
He allegedly subjected the boy, who was less than 17 years of age, to sexual contact on or about Oct. 18, 2009.
According to the alleged victim, he was lying on a massage table in Pauldineâ€™s home when the businessman reportedly rubbed the boyâ€™s buttocks and then put his hand on his penis.
During his testimony on Wednesday, Pauldine indicated that the boy ejaculated of his own accord, in response to a leg massage.
DiMartino asked Pauldine if he had any issues with the teen.
â€œItâ€™s hard to describe,â€ Pauldine responded. â€œHe appeared to be quiet distant, reserved.â€
Asked about the boyâ€™s clothing, Pauldine replied that â€œSome might say they were thread bare. Iâ€™d say they were comfortably worn.â€
The youngster was also â€œvery selectiveâ€ about what he ate, he said.
There were also issues with the teenâ€™s hair and his overall cleanliness habits, he added.
Pauldine also noted that he thought the student might be a better fit with another host family. He talked with the boy twice about whether he was comfortable at the Pauldine home or would rather be elsewhere, he continued.
DiMartino asked his client if he recalled Oct. 18, 2009.
â€œSure do,â€ Pauldine responded.
He told of how he massaged the teenâ€™s back following a workout in his home gym.
The youth reportedly had sore legs and asked Pauldine to massage them, the defendant testified.
Twice during the massage, the boy lifted his hips about 1.5 inches off the message table, Pauldine said.
He testified that he noticed the boyâ€™s penis sticking downward out the right side of his shorts; and had apparently reached sexual climax.
Pauldine said he was surprised and shocked.
He saw a wet spot and said he asked the boy if he was alright, then went to get some tissues. He said he told the boy to go and take a shower.
Under cross examination by Todd, Pauldine testified that the boyâ€™s hands were at his side during the massage.
Todd also asked about notes Pauldine said he wrote to the boy later that night and slipped under his bedroom door.
The letters dealt with whether the boy was happy or not there or wanted to live elsewhere.
The alleged victim said he never saw the letters.
â€œItâ€™s your word and your word alone that these letters were created on Oct. 19,â€ Todd asked Pauldine, adding, â€œIsnâ€™t it true they were written after (the boy) had left and you were being investigated?â€
â€œAbsolutely not,â€ Pauldine said.
During a phone call the boy made to Pauldine (that was recorded by police) the businessman at one point says he is sorry.
â€œYou meant you were sorry for using your hand to masturbate (the boy)? Sorry for that?â€ Todd asked.
â€œAbsolutely not,â€ Pauldine said.
Later, during the conversation, Pauldine said he wanted to meet with the boy, to talk in person.
â€œBecause that would lessen the chance heâ€™d disclose what you did to him?â€ Todd asked.
â€œThatâ€™s not true,â€ Pauldine replied.
The attorneys will make their final arguments today (May 20). A jury of four women and three men (one an alternate) will then begin deliberations.