Teen gives testimony in rape trial
WOODSTOCK – On the first trial day for accused child molester Patrick “P.J.” Wakeman, 40, of Edinburg, the court heard testimony from a 17-year-old girl who has accused him of raping her a year ago.
The girl, who was 16 years old at the time the crime occurred, was also a babysitter for Wakeman, and would watch his two small children. At 8:30 a.m. April 23, 2016, Wakeman picked her up from her home, with his children in the car, so she could watch the kids while Wakeman was supposed to work on his farm. She also said that Wakeman’s wife was the one who asked her to watch them that day.
They stopped at the McDonalds in Woodstock on their way to Wakeman’s Edinburg home. While the children ate in the kitchen, Wakeman asked the victim to come out to the porch with him. He took her phone to take a picture of her from behind, allegedly admiring her “thigh gap” and telling her that guys would like it.
They went back into the living room where Wakeman told her he wanted to “teach her some moves” so she could defend herself in case she were ever in a bad situation. The first move she said he taught her did not involve sex, but he did throw her to the ground. He then took his children upstairs to a room and blocked their exit before going back to the living room, she said.
The victim began to cry when recounting the details of what she said happened to her in Wakeman’s living room, and needed a moment to compose herself before continuing. She actively avoided Wakeman’s gaze while she was on the stand.
The second “move” he taught her involved him groping her, and when he went outside to smoke, she said, she texted one of her friends to come get her because she felt uncomfortable, and returned a FaceTime call she received from another friend. During this conversation, Wakeman returned to the living room and told the victim’s friend that he was teaching her some moves.
The third and fourth “moves” that Wakeman taught the victim led to the two rape charges he’s facing now, as both allegedly involved some sort of penetration as he restrained her hands. She said that during the fourth interaction he was telling her that she needed to fight harder, and once she started crying he immediately stopped and expressed serious concern about going to jail.
The victim said that Wakeman left her with his kids, and she got one of her friends to come pick her up. She said she waited for Wakeman’s wife to arrive before leaving, and went to another friend’s house before telling her mother what had happened to her and before going to the hospital.
Wakeman remained stoic and poised throughout the girl’s testimony, with his hands clasped in his lap — only moving them to take some notes or look through his counsel’s paperwork.
His attorney, William Allen III, tried to highlight inconsistencies in the victim’s testimony, saying that at a preliminary hearing she had recounted the events in a different order. He also questioned why she did not tell the friend what was going on, and focused heavily on the victim attending a friend’s birthday sleepover that same night.
“I just wanted to be normal and not let it affect me,” the victim said on the stand when prosecutor Louis Campola asked her about why she attended the party.
The victim’s mother also took the stand, and said that once she learned what happened she immediately reached out to Wakeman, asking to meet and talk to him. He wanted to meet inside a church near his Edinburg home, but she said she would only speak with him on the lot outside the church. She said that she asked him how he could hurt her child, and that he said he didn’t want his wife to get “involved in this.” The victim’s mother also said that he continued to deny that anything happened.
The victim’s mother appeared visibly upset with Wakeman, testifying that she told him he’d pay for the crime he committed.
The trial in this case is scheduled for two days, continuing to a third if necessary, Judge Dennis Hupp told jurors during jury selection.
Contact staff writer Briahnna Brown at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or firstname.lastname@example.org