Aldo Batista dos Santos' first trial ended in mistrial when his victim's relative shouted at him. Now, his second trial is underway. I will keep you posted on the verdict and sentencing if any.
From www.nashuatelegraph.com, Wednesday, December 10, 2014
Nashua man’s second trial underway at Superior Court; accused of multiple sexual assault offenses
By DEAN SHALHOUP
NASHUA – It wasn’t long after the young, athletically inclined girl and her dad and two siblings had settled into their new home in Hudson in February 2012 that she discovered the world of martial arts. And even better, she took to the sport immediately, enjoying class immensely and improving her skills rapidly. And better yet, everyone at ABC Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, the Nashua studio owned by black belt holder Aldo Batista dos Santos, considered themselves one big family.
By August 2012, six months after she joined ABC BJJ, the girl, who was then 13, was doing so well she signed up for additional classes. By then she was spending about four hours a day, 4 to 5 days a week at the studio. But all that was about to change.
The girl, now 15 and a high school sophomore, described in often–excruciating detail Tuesday in Hillsborough County Superior Court South how her instructorstudent relationship with dos Santos descended into one of alleged sexual abuse that prosecutors say caused the girl to suffer physical and emotional distress and led to dos Santos’ arrest in May 2013 on multiple charges stemming from the alleged pattern of abuse.
Testimony in dos Santos’ second trial on the charges, which include two felony counts of felonious sexual assault and 10 misdemeanor counts of sexual assault, got underway Tuesday morning in Superior Court before Judge Jacalyn Colburn. His first trial, in August, ended in a mistrial after a relative of the victim interrupted proceedings with an angry rant against dos Santos and his attorney, Tim Bush.
Colburn found the relative, Victor Traverso, in contempt of court, fining him and sending him to jail for one day. Traverso later apologized, saying he wasn’t prepared for the explicit nature of the testimony. On Tuesday, Colburn reminded those present in the courtroom of the rules and warned against disruptive behavior, saying anyone who acts out will be removed from the courtroom.
Colburn also excused one of the jurors, a man, after a brief bench conference with him and Bush, Gill and David Tencza, the other prosecutor. That left a jury of eight men and five women, one of whom is an alternate.
Gill called the victim to the stand shortly after 11:30 a.m. Tuesday after she and Bush completed their opening statements. Bush was in the process of crossexamining the victim when testimony ended for the day. Crossexamination is expected to continue when the trial resumes shortly after 9 a.m. Wednesday.
Gill in her opening statement described the victim as a “very social” girl who “liked to be part of the community” of dos Santos’ studio. Soon after the victim joined the studio, she and dos Santos’ wife became fast friends, Gill said, going places together and spending time at the dos Santos home with their son. “That’s when he developed a relationship with her,” Gill told the jury. “It began with a kiss.” Gill said the victim’s testimony would outline how her unwanted relationship with dos Santos
escalated from that brief kiss to him directing her to change her clothes in front of him and eventually to the day he allegedly brought her to his house, led her to the bathroom, undressed and had her do the same, then led her into the shower where, Gill told the jury, “he started washing her naked body ... and had her do the same (to him).”
After the shower, Gill said, and the victim later testified, dos Santos picked her up, brought her into a bedroom, lay her on the bed and performed sexual acts on her. The victim grew emotional during that part of her testimony, sometimes struggling to answer Gill’s questions and crying at times. The victim several times told Gill she didn’t tell anyone what was happening because at first she was confused, then “scared,” and as to why she didn’t tell dos Santos’ wife, she “didn’t want to tell her ... I wasn’t ready to tell anyone.”
Bush, in his opening statement and again during cross examination, focused mainly on the dates and times the victim was allegedly abused by dos Santos. He pointed out some inconsistencies in statements the victim gave to police and the Child Advocacy Center, where she was also interviewed in May 2013, shortly after she and her father went to Nashua police headquarters to report the alleged assaults. They went to police late the night of May 11, according to the victim’s testimony, shortly after she told her father that dos Santos had allegedly been abusing her.
She told the court that she “began shaking ... crying, hyperventilating” as she talked to her father. She said he made some phone calls, then sometime later that evening they went to Nashua police. Bush, upon cross examination, suggested the victim’s physical and emotional problems may have stemmed not from the alleged encounters with dos Santos, but from a difficult breakup of a relationship not connected to this case.
“The reason you needed to go to the doctor was because you were hyperventilating because of the forced breakup” of the relationship, “not because of Aldo, like you said earlier,” Bush said. Bush also challenged wording in the victim’s statement to police, in which she stated that dos Santos “performed oral sex and penetration” on “multiple occasions.” “But you said today that there was only one (incident of) oral sex,” Bush said. The victim responded that what she told police “was meant to be taken that he did stuff multiple times.”
Dean Shalhoup can be reached at email@example.com.
Published: Thursday December 11, 2014.
Text messages, dates of martial arts events and alleged victim’s recollections discussed during Wednesday testimony in dos Santos sex assault trial
By DEAN SHALHOUP
NASHUA – Defense attorney Tim Bush Wednesday morning showed posters, photographs, cellphone records and two brief videos to the jury in the sexual assault trial of his client, Nashua martial arts studio owner Aldo Batista dos Santos, telling the jury and the alleged victim that the exhibits support to some degree his assertions that the victim’s statements and testimony contain multiple inconsistencies.
The victim, now a 15 year old high school sophomore, reported in May 2013 that dos Santos, who owns ABC Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in Nashua, molested her on multiple occasions between August and November 2012 when she was 13. The girl was a member of the studio and was taking martial arts classes from dos Santos during the time of the alleged assaults, which began with embraces and kisses then advanced to fondling, oral sex and attempted digital penetration, according to her testimony and prosecution documents.
Wednesday was day two of dos Santos’s second trial, which comes about three months after a mistrial ended his initial trial after about two days of testimony. The girl, who joined dos Santos’s studio in February 2012 shortly after moving to Hudson with her father and two siblings, responded to Bush’s crossexamination by acknowledging she could have gotten some dates and times mixed up and that it’s possible her various statements and testimony didn’t match up word for word, but insisted she never knowingly made inaccurate or untrue statements.
“I was nervous ... that’s why I forgot some things here and there,” she told the court. As the legal process went forward from May 11, 2013, the day she and her father reported the alleged assaults to Nashua police, the victim said she started to remember more details. “Trial is bringing some things back ... I start remembering things more clearly,” she said. Dos Santos, 39, of 32 Gingras Drive in Nashua, was arrested in May 2013, shortly after the victim went to police. Her parents also filed a report with Hudson police, saying that their daughter told them some of the alleged assaults took place in that town. In all, dos Santos is being tried on two counts of felonious sexual assault, Class B felonies, and 10 counts of sexual assault, all misdemeanors. One of the felonies and one of the
misdemeanors are alleged to have occurred in Hudson; all others allegedly happened in Nashua.
Dos Santos, a native of Nova Esperanca, a city in the southern Brazilian state of Parana, moved to the United States in 2003 with intentions of opening his own Brazilian jiu jitsu studio, according to Bush.
One of seven siblings, dos Santos spent a year in the Brazilian military then took up jiu jitsu, Bush said. “He came to New Hampshire, all legal and everything, and worked three jobs” in order to save money to open his studio, Bush added. He indicated to the jury that dos Santos will likely testify during his trial “not because he has to, but because he wants to,” Bush said. “He’ll tell you, ‘I have no interest in 13 year old girls. That’s not me.’” Two interpreters have been taking turns sitting with dos Santos, whose first language is Portuguese. He speaks English, but not fluently.
The victim, who spent about four hours on the stand Tuesday and two more Wednesday morning, became emotional when describing details of the alleged assaults but later Tuesday and Wednesday she remained composed throughout questioning. Prosecutors Leslie Gill and David Tencza, and Bush, took turns redirecting and cross examining the victim Wednesday morning. Bush brought out posters showing text messages the victim exchanged with Sonia Batista, the defendant’s wife, with whom the victim had become close friends after she joined ABC BJJ studio.
The records show the two communicated via text messaging the night of Oct. 6, 2012, which, according to the victim’s testimony, would have been just a few hours after dos Santos and she showered together and he allegedly put her on a bed and performed oral sex. In the texts, according to Bush’s exhibit, the victim and Sonia Batista appeared to be making plans “to hang out” the next day, with one of the victim’s texts stating “you should know ... I want to hang out with you guys,” a reference to dos Santos, his wife, and their young son. “This is the same night of the alleged assault, right?” Bush asked. The victim said yes. Bush, citing texts by Sonia Batista suggesting that her family and the victim “hang out” at a city playground that next day, said he was surprised the victim agreed to meet them after what allegedly happened earlier that day.
“You went to that playground one day after those unspeakable acts? Despite what you say he did to you, you still went to be with him the next day?” Bush said. Earlier, the victim told Gill in redirect that she felt OK about going to the park “because I knew I wouldn’t be alone with him." In response to Bush’s suggestions that the victim may not have begun curtailing her friendship with Sonia Batista as quickly as she said she did, Gill produced an expanded version of the victim’s text message records.
While the two communicated a number of times in October, records show they texted on only four days in November, three in December, and just once a month from January through April. Gill also asked the victim about one of the videos Bush showed earlier, a roughly 30second segment depicting a 2012 martial arts event that the victim had said she attended. Bush pointed out that since the victim didn’t appear in the video she wasn’t there, contrary to what she said earlier. But when Gill asked the victim about it, the victim said she spent about half the event in the weight room – one of the places she said she would sometimes go when she didn’t feel up to participating in training or a match.