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Jury hears victim testimony in trial of Westminster man accused of sexual abuse

Testimony will continue Wednesday in the case of a Westminster man charged with sexual abuse of a minor in the second day of a three-day jury trial.

The jury heard opening arguments and testimony from the alleged victim Tuesday in the case against Walter Richardson Humple Jr., 55, who is charged with one count of sexual abuse of a minor and 10 counts of sexual offense in the third degree, according to electronic court files.

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The victim was 15 years old when the alleged relationship began, and Humple was living with her family for at least a portion of the time of the conduct, according to Senior Assistant State's Attorney Amy Blank Ocampo.

In her opening statement, Ocampo said that Humple formed a relationship with the victim and provided emotional support and companionship, but that the relationship later became sexual in nature.

Ocampo characterized the victim as a "troubled teenage girl" who was "starving for attention and affection." Along with the victim's testimony, the state plans to introduce DNA evidence to support the charges, according to Ocampo.

Defense attorney Samuel Nalli said in his opening statement that the victim falsely accused Humple because he reported her behavior when she broke house rules and sided with her family in disputes, among other motives.

"Evidence and testimony will prove that no abuse ever occurred," Nalli said.

According to testimony from the victim, now 17, she had been having difficulties with her family and was constantly being reprimanded for leaving the house without permission, smoking cigarettes and skipping school.

"I felt like I had to do negative things to get [their] attention," she said.

Sometime in 2012, she began to develop a close relationship with Humple and they would speak on the phone, go out [to] eat and otherwise spend time together, she said.

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In early 2013, the relationship became sexual when Humple kissed her and the two went to Humple's residence and engaged in intercourse, the victim alleged.

The victim first reported the alleged abuse in December when she was living in a foster home, according to her testimony. She said that she felt safe with her foster family and trusted them.

Soon after informing her foster family, the victim said that she told a therapist about the relationship. According to Ocampo, police specially trained with the Carroll County Advocacy and Investigation Center were notified and investigated the allegations.

The court recessed for the day prior to the conclusion of the victim's testimony and before the defense was able to cross-examine her. The trial is expected to last three days and continues Wednesday.

Editor's note: The Carroll County Times does not identify the alleged victims of sexual abuse.

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