Jurors in a Yellowstone County court heard the heart-wrenching testimony of a 10-year-old child Tuesday on the first trial day of the man accused of sexually abusing her.  37-year-old Jeremiah Burns stands accused of three counts of sexual assault against an underage girl. Burns has pleaded not guilty.  The case is being tried before District Court Judge Gregory Todd.

 

He inexplicably excused a juror at the end of the first day of trial.  The juror will be replaced with an alternate.  Prosecutors claim Burns molested the then-8-year-old girl from about May 2014 to September 2014.  She reported the abuse to a school counselor.

 
Before the child took the stand, Wendy Dutton, an expert witness on the topic of child sexual abuse and forensic interviews prepped the jury for the child’s testimony and explained the reasons why abused children can sometimes contradict earlier statements.  The child testified after Dutton.