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Deputy's alleged victim faces cross-examination
After more than a day of testifying under the gentle prodding of Kitsap County Deputy Prosecutor Neil Wachter last week, the teenager who has alleged Sheriff Deputy Michael Kleinfelder had sex with her at least 10 times when she was 14 faced his attorney on Monday morning in Kitsap County Superior Court.
Clifford Morey, representing Kleinfelder in his trial on two counts of child rape and four counts of child molestation, said in his opening statement last week that the girl made up her highly detailed stories of a sexual relationship with his client.
During his cross-examination Monday, Morey continually used the word claimed when questioning the veracity of the girls statements.
But the youth would not be budged.
Mike and I had a sexual relationship type of thing...or deal, she insisted.
Asked why she waited from August 2002, when Kleinfelder left his wife and moved away from the house across the street from the girl, until February, 2003, to report his alleged crimes, she said: Because I didnt want (Kleinfelder) to get in trouble.
Morey questioned the girl about how she felt in the summer of 2002 when she discovered Kleinfelder had a new girlfriend. She admitted she wasnt pleased.
I was upset, she said. Three or four days after he moved out of his house he had a date (with a new girl). But I didnt know he was living with her.
She said Kleinfelder called her from his new girlfriends house.
I asked him where he was and he said he was at (another deputys), she said. I asked him why it said (new girlfriends name) on the caller I.D. He got really mad. He said, Ill leave anything behind to be happy, and then he hung up on me.
Oddly enough, despite claiming she had a sexual relationship with Kleinfelder, the teen attributed her admitted anger toward him later to the fact that he had apparently left his wife for another woman.
I didnt think it was right, she said.
Morey then tried to establish that the young girl was smitten by the tall deputy from the first time she saw him. But the girl claimed that wasnt the case.
I just thought he was like an ordinary person, she testified. Just a neighbor...like a cop. My friends thought he looked like a movie star. I didnt.
Morey also tried to connect the girls desire to be a police officer with her infatuation with Kleinfelder. Again she tried to fend off the defense attorney.
I always thought that cops were cool, she said. My cousins a cop. Hes a state trooper.
After establishing that the girl was considered a tomboy by her father and others (she played basketball and other sports and agreed she had little interest in dolls), Morey questioned the girl about her bike.
It was a small bike I could jump with, she said. I never really did that (jump) much, she testified.
(When you jumped) You came down and landed hard...the seat between your legs? Morey asked.
The girl didnt respond to that line of attack.
Morey then had the girl in her own words describe the growing friendship between herself and Kleinfelder, which he repeatedly characterized as brother-sister, a characterization the girl agreed with to describe the first year of her acquaintance with the deputy.
When she wanted to quit basketball because there was a new coach she didnt like, her father was upset. But Kleinfelder took her side.
He told me, You should be able to do what you feel, she remembered.
You idolized him, didnt you?
Not like a crush-crush, like a best friend, she described it.
Morey then painstakingly led the girl through last weeks testimony in which she detailed the various sexual contacts she claimed she and the deputy had during the second year of their relationship. She said at one point he told her: If this their relationship ever got out hed put a gun to his head.
The rest of the morning was taken up with Morey and the girl going back and forth over the tawdry little details of their alleged affair.
But the teenager never budged.
The trial is expected to run at least the rest of this week.
If convicted on all six counts, Kleinfelder faces approximately 20 years in prison.
He is currently on paid administrative leave.