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Jurors to hear closing arguments in sex trial of former Bengals linebacker
Annette Peagler, email@example.com
3:36 PM, Apr 23, 2012
7:01 AM, Apr 24, 2012
CINCINNATI - Closing arguments begin Tuesday morning in the trial of former Bengals linebacker Nate Webster.
Webster is accused of having a sexual relationship with the daughter of a Bengals coach when she was 15 years old. The alleged victim, who is now 18, says the encounters began when she agreed to babysit Webster's kids at his home in the summer of 2009.
Closing arguments are set to begin at 9 a.m. Tuesday after the defense presented their case Monday.
Seven witnesses testified Monday. The defense called four of the witnesses by early Monday afternoon, including the brothers of Webster's wife, Evont and Travont Flanders; Elizabeth Turner, a girlfriend of one of the men; and Maurice Anderson, a neighbor of the alleged victim.
Some of the witnesses claim the alleged victim would do drugs and drink alcohol in Webster's home. Both of Webster's brothers-in-law and Turner were all living at Webster's home during the summer of 2009, the same time that the alleged victim said the sex acts occurred.
Evont Flanders testified that he would use Webster's phone to contact the victim to purchase marijuana. Evont, Travont and Turner all admitted to doing drugs and drinking alcohol with the victim. They all say they had no idea how old the alleged victim was.
"You never saw her alone with Nate? You never saw her smoking iwth Nate? You never saw her in the kitchen with Nate? You never saw her babysitting the kids at the house?" one of the prosecutors asked.
"No," said Turner.
"So the only time you saw her were those couple of times but she would still come up to the house and when she was up at the house what was she doing?" one of the prosecutors asked.
"Smoking and drinking" Turner said.
"By herself," asked the prosecutor.
"No, with us" Turner said.
Another piece of evidence presented in the case was the phone records between Webster and the alleged victim. The defense says all three would often use Webster's phone because they did not have one and that the alleged victim would constantly call and text. They testified that Webster never used his phone.
Prosecutors tackled the witnesses' credibility during cross examinations on Monday.
"She (the alleged victim) did not mention her age, her grade, her involvement in school while you were out smoking and drinking, clubbing?" one of the prosecutors asked.
"No," replied Turner. "I pretty much knew her name and that was it."
Another topic the defense brought up were claims that the alleged victim was on a downward spiral in school.
Anderson, the alleged victim's neighbor, said he had conversations with the alleged victim's mother about her difficulty focusing in school.
Webster's wife, Jennifer, also testified Monday afternoon and claims that the alleged victim would also complain to her about her living situation.
"Her mother and her didn't get along," said Jennifer Webster. "Every time her mother and her got into an argument she always used that she was going to send her back to her father as punishment."
Webster is charged with single counts of gross sexual imposition and sexual battery and five counts of unlawful sex with a minor with gun specifications.
If convicted, Webster faces up to 36 years in prison.
Ultimately, the defense wants to prove to the jurors that the sex didn't happen until the victim was 16, which is the age of consent in Ohio.