Carlos Stevenson takes stand, denies allegations

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Carlos Stevenson, left, with his attorney Janice Bassil. On Thursday, Stevenson took the stand in his own defense. — Stacey Rupolo

Carlos G. Stevenson took the stand on Thursday in his own defense telling jurors at the Dukes County courthouse the accusations of sexual assault against him are false.

Mr. Stevenson, 50, was asked repeated questions about inappropriate touching and watching pornography in front of the alleged victim and each time he answered by saying, “no,” or “absolutely not.”

In the third day of testimony, Mr. Stevenson and his wife, Heidi, took the stand and contradicted what the woman told jurors during testimony earlier in the week.

Mr. Stevenson had been charged with rape of a child with force, and five counts of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14. Judge Mitchell Kaplan has left it up to jurors whether to reduce the charge to indecent assault and battery of a child under the age of 14 after a request from Janice Bassil, Mr. Stevenson’s attorney.

The woman, now 26, testified Tuesday and Wednesday at the trial. She claims that Mr. Stevenson sexually assaulted her between 2000 and 2003, when she was between the ages of 10 and 13. She said she babysat for the family on multiple occasions, and that Mr. Stevenson had given her rides to and from Island Gymnastics in West Tisbury when he was taking his two sons there. She said incidents occurred at the Stevenson home and in Mr. Stevenson’s truck.

But Mr. Stevenson said the girl only babysat for their children once — on December 10, 2004. He and his wife, Heidi Ray Stevenson, who also testified on Thursday, said that they remember that date specifically because it was Ms. Stevenson’s office Christmas party.

Ms. Stevenson’s mother babysat for the Stevensons, but on this particular night, she also had a Christmas party and was unable to babysit, so the couple asked the girl. Both Mr. and Ms. Stevenson gave that same testimony.

When cross-examined by the assistant district attorney, Laura Marshard, she asked Ms. Stevenson if she was “adamant” that Dec. 10, 2004 was the first time the woman babysat for their children.

“It’s the only time,” Ms. Stevenson said.

An invoice for the Christmas party at the Mansion House from Dec. 10, 2004, was submitted as evidence.

Sgt. Garrison Vieira of West Tisbury and Detective Mark Santon of Tisbury, both who investigated the case and filed police reports on behalf of the woman, testified first on Thursday. Stephanie Block, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Massachusetts in Lowell, was hired by the state as an expert witness, specializing in children’s disclosures and delayed disclosures. Katherine Monterosso, who was a classmate of the alleged victim, also gave the first complaint testimony, as she was the first person the woman told back in 2009. That year, Ms. Monterosso, who was a Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School student, administered a survey to students about sexual assault. All were witnesses for the prosecution.

The defense plans to call one more witness to testify on Friday. Closing arguments will follow and then the case will be in the hands of the jury to begin deliberations.

Editor’s note: story was updated to clarify charges.