Joey Laster is charged with sexually abusing a minor.
The fate of Joey Leon Laster, 47, of Frederick could be decided by the jury on Friday. Laster has been on trial this week for sexually abusing a 13-year-old boy.
State’s Attorney Charlie Smith says the prosecution rested its case on Thursday after calling a DNA expert from the State Police Forensic Crime Lab. “She testified that basically during the victim’s sexual assault kit analysis, that they found Mr. Laster’s DNA on the boy whose the victim unnamed,” Smith says.
As part of its case, the defense called Laster to the witness stand. “The defendant waived his rights, and took the stand, and tried to explain the relationship as a godfather to this young man, obviously indicated that he didn’t abuse the child in any manner,” Smith says.
During the trial, witnesses said that the victim and Laster had a very close bond. Even though the boy lived out of state with his mother, he would talk or text with Laster almost every day.
The testimony said the boy was assaulted while he was visiting Laster over the school break. It happened in October of last year. The boy told police that Laster sexually abused him while he laid down in the defendant’s bed. Smith says the victim ran out of the house and told the neighbors he was being abused.
“Police responded to a 911 call to find the boy at the neighbor’s house, pleading for help, and crying,” Smith says. “He had reported he had been made to sleep in the same bed as the defendant, and that the defendant had performed certain sexual acts upon him.”
“The victim was taken to the hospital. They did a sexual assault forensic exam. And that is where the swabs were taken from the victim and ultimately tested to find the defendant’s DNA on those swabs,” says Smith.
Laster, in his testimony, denied he had any sexual contact with the boy.
Smith says the case goes to the jury Friday for its deliberations.