Yuba City man guilty of sexually assaulting teen in Marysville
A Yuba City man on trial for sodomizing a 17-year-old boy at a Marysville motel was found guilty on Friday in Yuba County Superior Court and faces up to 25 years in state prison when sentenced Feb. 8.
Dwight Anthony Summers, 44, was found guilty of forcible sodomy with a minor over the age of 15 and giving cocaine to a minor.
A juror, who declined to give her name, said the jury of nine women and three men did not find Summers testimony credible. Summers denied the crimes.
The verdicts followed closing arguments Friday.
"Who's lying?" deputy district attorney Shiloh Sorbello asked. "Because someone is."
He told jurors the trial is an easy case if they believed the testimony of the now-19-year-old teen — who is not being identified by the Appeal-Democrat because of the nature of the crime — about Summers' sexual assault in April 2011.
The jury should believe the teen, Sorbello said, because he has been consistent in his account of what happened and has no reason to lie.
"It takes a lot of guts to stand up and say what happened," Sorbello said of the teen's testimony.
The prosecutor said Summers is not credible in denying the crime and that he has 18 convictions — including possessing cocaine for sale in San Francisco and Yuba counties.
"The guy has been a walking rap sheet for the last 30 years," Sorbello said in his closing argument.
Defense attorney John Abril told jurors that the prosecution wants them to believe the evidence shows Summers is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
"I have one question," Abril said. "Really?"
The teen was an untrustworthy young man and Summers was not a registered guest at the Budget Inn in Marysville when the alleged crime occurred, the defense attorney said.
"The government brought you a case without a shred of physical evidence," Abril told jurors.
The teen also said that Summers sodomized him in 2010 at the Knights Inn in Yuba City, but continued to hang out with the defendant, Abril said.
The attorney acknowledged Summers' criminal history, but said none involve a sex crime.
"When you have a fight in hell," Abril added, "you don't get angels for witnesses."
During the trial, the mother of the teen testified that she knew Summers for a decade, that he had been her fiancé before they broke up and was a father figure to her son and other boys in her family. Summers had moved out of the Yuba City home shortly before the sexual assault in 2011, the woman said.
Sorbello spoke to jurors about that the defense reference to not having angels for witnesses.
"The irony here is Mr. Summers says there was no fight in hell," the prosecutor recounted.
Sorbello said predators like the defendant target the vulnerable.
"The wolves attack the sick," Sorbello said, "on the outside of the herd."
Sorbello said Summers during testimony about mentoring youth had cited the biblical verse, "Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not turn from it."
Another Bible verse, the deputy district attorney said, reads, "The wicked flee when no one pursues."
CONTACT Ryan McCarthy at email@example.com or 749-4780. Find him on Facebook at /ADrmccarthy or on Twitter at @ADrmccarthy.