Prosecution rests at end of day 2 of Rojo trial

Staff Writer

The prosecution rested its case Wednesday afternoon against a former Big Spring Police detective who is on trial in the 118th District Court on charges of multiple sex crimes.
After a second long day of testimony, District Attorney Hardy Wilkerson rested his case against Joel Rojo, a former Big Spring police officer who has been indicted on four charges – indecency with a child by sexual contact, sexual performance by a child, indecency with a child by exposure, and attempted indecency with a child by exposure.
“I do believe the strength of the case lies in the testimony of the three young women – girls really – who told their story over the last two days,” Wilkerson said after court broke for the day. “I think we got the evidence in we wanted to get in. I feel comfortable we got in the evidence and statements we wanted to get in. Obviously we have another day of testimony and the defense is going to present their case. There may be yet more evidence that comes in that is significant one way or another, but we feel like we have presented the case that we had.”
On Wednesday morning, the prosecution finished with the testimony of Texas Ranger Jeffery Strain, who conducted the investigation into the allegations of Rojo’s misconduct with three female minors. The prosecution called three more witnesses during the day; including a parent of the third victim, the victim herself, and Big Spring evidence technician Marcus Fernandez.
The third victim first came into contact with Rojo after she filed a complaint of a serious nature against her former boyfriend. She testified Wednesday that Rojo was the detective assigned to the case. The minor was 15 years old at the time. The third victim’s testimony was similar to the account given by the two minors who testified Tuesday. She told the jury Rojo transported her to an isolated area in Big Spring and requested she expose her private parts so he could take pictures of them as part of the investigation. She also alleged that Rojo touched her inappropriately.
The defense was expected to present its case when the trial resumed this morning.

UPDATE 12:30 p.m.: The defense for Joel Rojo, a former Big Spring Police detective charged with multiple sex crimes, rested its case this morning. Rojo did not take the stand. Closing arguments for both the state and defense will begin at 1:15 p.m. today in the 118th District Court.

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