Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

January 9, 2013

Dauben's accusor takes stand

By Janet Jacobs
Corsicana Daily Sun

Corsicana — The trial of Joey Dauben, who is facing three counts of sexual assault and one count of indecency with a child, continued Wednesday in the 13th District Court in Corsicana.

Dauben is charged with assaulting a 14-year-old in 2007 while at a church-sponsored camp at Navarro Mills Reservoir. Dauben was 26 at the time.

On Wednesday, the alleged victim, now 19, described that evening to the Navarro County jury of seven men and six women in great detail under the questioning of Assistant District Attorney Amy Cadwell. Assistant District Attorney Andrew Wolf is heading up prosecution of the case.

The accusor lives in Dallas but is not named in this article because the Corsicana Daily Sun does not generally name victims of sexual assault.

The young man said he thought Dauben was an assistant to the Messianic church’s rabbi when Dauben arrived at the camp that day. The boy said he and two other teens ended up the evening talking to Dauben around the campfire, after all the parents and the rabbi had drunk heavily and gone to bed.

Dauben allegedly pulled out a bottle of Wild Turkey, poured red Solo cups of whiskey and challenged the teens to see who could drink the fastest. The other two kids went to bed shortly thereafter and Dauben asked the alleged victim if he wanted to go out on the lake on a raft. While on the raft, Dauben began describing sexual encounters and asking the boy about his own experiences. The boy told the court that he was a virgin at the time.

After being on the raft, Dauben and the boy went to the public showers at the park, where Dauben said he was going to masturbate. When Dauben walked out into the shower area naked, the boy said he felt “awkward. But I didn’t want to seem uncool.”

“I was doing what I thought was normal,” he testified. “I didn’t want to seem weird, so I went with it.”

The victim said Dauben initiated sex acts with him.

During this portion of the testimony, Dauben, who sat at the defense table farthest from the witness stand, took off his glasses and dropped his head into his hand, covering his eyes. Later, he shook his head as the boy continued.

Once they returned to the campsite, he said Dauben gave him a business card with his phone number on it.

“He told me not to tell anyone,” the boy testified. “I joked, ‘Why are you going to kill me?’ and he said ‘No,’ he didn’t want me to get in trouble.”

The boy testified that he told a teen girl about the incident the next day but she didn’t believe him. He didn’t tell anyone else until the next year, while on a church mission trip. That girl believed him and told her mother, who relayed the story to a series of adults. The boy said he initially didn’t want Dauben prosecuted because he felt the incident was his own fault, but he decided to go ahead with seeing Dauben charged in around 2010 when the older man told him he was a camp counselor at a youth camp.

“I thought no kid should have to go through what I went through,” he testified. “That’s when I decided it was my responsibility.”

The boy said the effects of the encounter included an unwillingness to take showers for a “long time,” afterwards. He also said he became “an angry child.”

The boy was communicating with Dauben within a week after the alleged incident through Facebook and Yahoo Messenger, two social media sites. In one of the messages that prosecutors were able to retrieve, Dauben told the boy “I think I hear a shower calling my name.”

The boy testified that he thought Dauben meant he wanted to have sex with him again.

Under cross examination, Dauben’s attorney asked if the boy had ever heard the expression “I hear my bed calling me,” or similar things, but the boy said he hadn’t.

Also under cross examination, he was asked if he’d been forced to stay and drink with Dauben, or to go out on the raft, or even to go into the showers with his alleged molester.

“No one forced me,” the boy testified.

The boy’s home life has been difficult since before the incident. He told the court that he hasn’t seen his father in four years.

Testimony is expected to continue Thursday.

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Janet Jacobs may be reached via e-mail at jjacobs@corsicanadailysun.com. Want to “sound off” to this article? E-mail: Soundoff@corsicanadailysun.com