OTTAWA — A teacher and members of law enforcement gave testimony Tuesday in the second day of a jury trial in Putnam County for a man accused of raping a child.
Michael T. Huizenga, 51, appeared before Putnam County Common Pleas Court Judge Keith Schierloh with his attorney E. Charles Bates. Huizenga has been charged with seven counts of rape and four counts of sexual imposition against a 10 year old. The abuse is said to have started in 2013.
Jessica Arthur, a teacher at Pandora-Gilboa schools, said the victim confided in her March 13, 2019, that she had been inappropriately touched by Huizenga. An incident at school — which the victim called a “prank” — led Arthur to speak privately with her.
“She was playing a game where she told her friends she was looking for a magical ring that spoke to her. The game was getting out of hand when other students and the victim got upset,” Arthur said.
“She told me she would have pain when going to the bathroom after the incidents and would sometimes hold it,” Arthur said. “She asked me if she was the only one in the world who this happened to and I told her it wasn’t and that it wasn’t her fault.”
Arthur and the victim then talked with the school’s principal. They made a report to Child and Family Services, and that agency involved the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office.
Aaron Giesige, Putnam County Sheriff’s Office detective, also testified Tuesday. A video was shown of he and a Child Services employee interviewing the victim at the sheriff’s office.
“We located the mother and had her come into our office and recorded the victim being interviewed,” Giesige said.
In the interview, the victim described the sofa and chair in the living room where inappropriate contact with Huizenga occurred. She also said it happened in the barn, garage and Huizenga’s bedroom.
The victim described the color of Huizenga’s underwear, sheets and bedspread. Giesige took a photo as evidence of a towel duct taped to cover a window in the garage, where abuse was reported.
Giesige said a search warrant was issued, and he went to Huizenga’s place of employment and asked him to come to the sheriffs office. Giesige waited 45 minutes, and Huizenga did not appear.
Brad Nelson, Putnam County Sheriff’s Office captain, said he found Huizenga at home that day when they went there with a search warrant and investigated the scene.
“Mr. Huizenga did not seem concerned about the search warrant and wanted to feed his animals,” Giesige said. “His wife drove him to the sheriff’s office and asked if he would be going home, and I told her he more than likely would be.”
Giesige interviewed Huizenga at the sheriff’s office, and the recording was played in court. Huizenga was read his Miranda Rights. In the interview, Huizenga said he didn’t know why the victim would make the allegations.
“I don’t get where this is coming from. Nothing is going on,” Huizenga said in the taped interview. “I think I’m done,” were Huizenga’s last words as he walked out of the interview room.
Steven Stechschulte, Ohio Bureau of Federal Investigations, said he gave Huizenga a polygraph test June 11, 2019. He said the exam measures breathing, response and cardio levels and individuals must score a 2 or higher to pass. A -4 or less is considered failing. Questions about specific sexual acts were asked.
“Huizenga scored a -7 after the first three charts and a -12 after five charts,” Stechschulte said.
The jury trial will resume at 8:30 a.m. today.
Reach Jennifer Peryam at 567-242-0362.