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Counselor describes 'terrified' girl in Hyde trial

A clinical psychologist treating the elementary school girl who has accused former Carroll County schools Superintendent William H. Hyde of raping her testified yesterday that the child was so "terrified" that she often curled up on the floor in a corner when talking about the alleged abuse.

"She said she thought she should have been able to tell him, 'No' or 'Stop it,'" said Lindsey S. Daniels, who has treated the girl for nearly a year. "She said she thought it was all her fault."

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Daniels was one of two health professionals to testify yesterday - the third day in Hyde's trial in Carroll County Circuit Court. A Carroll County General Hospital pediatrician also took the witness stand, saying he had never seen such pronounced physical signs of long-term sexual abuse.

Hyde, 62, left the Carroll school system in August 2000 to take a job with a small Montana school system. The former schools chief returned to Carroll County for about two weeks last summer and is charged with raping and sexually abusing the child at her family's home in July last year.

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During about five hours of testimony yesterday, Judge Luke K. Burns Jr. also heard from a Maryland State Police sergeant and a retired barracks commander who now works for the school system - both of whom interacted briefly with Hyde at the Westminster police barracks Aug. 8 of last year, the day of his arrest. The girl's mother returned to the witness stand for more than an hour yesterday, and the judge heard from her husband, the girl's father.

He described the effect of the ordeal on his daughter as "brutal" and said the investigation and fallout from her alleged abuse have been "the worst thing I've ever endured."

Earlier in the day, Daniels detailed the 11 months of weekly and sometimes twice-weekly sessions with the child, in whom she has diagnosed post-traumatic stress disorder.

Daniels described how the girl refused to sleep in her own bed, volunteering instead to sleep in a sleeping bag under the bed or beside it.

Explaining how she asked very few direct questions of the girl about the alleged abuse, Daniels described the therapeutic games she used to draw out the child's feelings and elicit what the therapist called "indirect disclosures" about what had happened to her. On one occasion, when asked what she might see if she looked in the window of a house at night, the girl said, "a man and a girl having sex," said Daniels.

On cross-examination, defense attorney Kathi Hill posed what she characterized as a hypothetical question about a child who had not been abused but had been told over the course of several investigative interviews that something had happened to her.

Asked whether it was possible for a child to then "fabricate a story" to match the adults' set of facts, Daniels said it was.


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