LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Opening statements began Thursday in the alleged kidnapping and sexual assault of a 10-year-old Northridge girl.
According to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, Tobias Dustin Summers, 34, has pleaded not guilty to one felony count each of kidnapping a victim under 14, kidnapping to commit another crime, first-degree burglary with a person present and 34 sex-related counts.
CBS2’s Adrianna Weingold reported the details of this case are sickening and horrifying.
The alleged victim is being identified only as “Nicole.”
On March 27, 2013, Summers and his accomplice, Daniel Martinez, 31, are accused of kidnapping the young girl from her home and sexually assaulting her.
The alleged victim was found about 12 hours after her disappearance, wandering barefoot and bruised around a San Fernando Valley Starbucks parking lot.
After about a month-long manhunt, Summers was arrested in Baja, Mexico.
Nicole, now 13, took the witness stand Thursday.
Deputy District District Attorney Laura Knight says Summers broke into Nicole’s home, crept into her bedroom, shook her awake and kidnapped her. Knight says Summers took her out the back sliding door of her home, down her street, through an alley and into a car.
“He told her to take off all of her clothes and he called her a slut but she’ll tell you she didn’t know at that time what that meant,” Knight said.
Knight says Summers drove Nicole to a Bekins moving truck yard and forced her into the back of a truck where he repeatedly sexually assaulted her. Knight says Summers put Nicole in the trunk of the car, drove her to another location and assaulted her again.
Summers’ defense attorney says there’s no evidence that any assault took place, saying the little girl’s story changes each time she talks about what allegedly happened the night she left her home.
“There is no physical evidence of DNA that amounts to a sexual assault,” says attorney Jeff Yanuck.
But the prosecution says Summers took nude photographs of the child, tied and bound her while sexually assaulting her.
“She’ll also tell you that during some of it, he actually put a belt around her neck and tightened it, and held onto her while he sexually assaulted her,” says Knight.
Nicole’s family says the girl insisted on testifying, saying she never wanted another child to go through her ordeal.
If convicted, Summers faces three life sentences behind bars.