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Accommodations requested for young alleged victim

News Photo by Julie Riddle In a Monday hearing in the 53rd Circuit Court, Presque Isle County Prosecutor Ken Radzibon describes the mental state of a girl who has accused defendant Thomas Pettit of sexual assault.

ROGERS CITY — A girl suffering from psychological trauma requires special accommodations at the upcoming trial of her alleged attacker, Presque Isle County Prosecutor Ken Radzibon told the 53rd Circuit Court on Monday.

Thomas Pettit, of Rogers City, is accused of multiple first- and second-degree sexual assaults involving a 6- to 12-year-old girl.

The News does not identify alleged victims of sexual assault.

The girl suffers from depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other debilitating conditions and will need a one-way screen between her and her alleged attacker if she is to testify at trial, Radzibon said.

Judge Aaron Gauthier agreed to hear testimony from counselors as to the girl’s mental state — a hearing which will not be open to the public because of its sensitive nature, he said.

A similar screen was requested for use by a young victim in the recent trial of Michael Rigot in Presque Isle County.

That request was denied by Gauthier, who said it stood in the way of a defendant’s constitutional right to look an accuser in the eyes.

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