Two more victims testify in sex abuse case
MAYVILLE – Prosecutors continue to build their case against a northern Chautauqua County man who has already been convicted on federal production and possession of child pornography charges.
On Monday, jurors began their day listening to a video of Dustin Post confessing to police about the sexual abuse he committed.
Post said in the video he told a girl – that he and his former wife used to babysit – that their son was kidnapped and he needed her help to make a pornographic video in order for him to be released. “That’s how I set her up,” Post said.
The video was played on a large-screen TV that was turned to face members of the jury. Those seated in the courtroom could hear the sound, but were anable to view the screen.
In the video, Post told an officer his son was not kidnapped, but was actually staying with family members. He said he recorded the abuse with a cellphone and placed the video on a flash drive, which was turned over to police.
TEEN DISCUSSES ABUSE
After the video, a teenager who Post referred to in the recording took to the stand.
The teenager said she was 12 years old at the time of the abuse. She noted that in July 2019 she and her sister were taken to the Chautauqua County Fair by Post and his former wife.
While they were walking around the fairgrounds, she said Post told her the story about how his son had been kidnapped and that the kidnappers demanded he send them a pornographic video.
To save him, Post requested the young girl’s help. She said she was reluctant at first, but agreed to do it, in part because she didn’t want Post asking her younger sister.
The two girls were brought back to their apartment by Post and his wife. Their father was still at work. The teenager who was giving the testimony said she and Post went upstairs to take care of a goldfish she won at the fair. While upstairs, Post recorded the act.
About an hour or two later, she said Post told her the video didn’t work and there needed to be a second time.
During her time on the stand, the teenager spoke clearly and answered all the questions asked. The only time she hesitated was when she was asked to describe a specific sexual act. She paused, took a deep breath and answered the question, her voice trembling only momentarily.
The teenager said the incident was stressful but she didn’t tell anyone about it. “I was just freaking out about everything and I just wanted to go to sleep,” she said.
About six months later, the girl’s mother was contacted by State Police about possible abuse by Post. The girl was brought to the Child Advocacy Program and spoke with a counselor where she opened up for the first time about what happened.
She did say during her testimony she hopes to someday become a counselor herself and help other victims of sexual abuse.
The two videos of abuse allegedly recorded by Post were played for members of the jury. The TV was facing them and could not be seen by courtroom viewers.
MOTHER, DAUGHTER TAKE THE STAND
A woman who at the time resided in Dunkirk was placed in the witness box. She has four children and had met Post in 2015, when her two daughters were 3 and 5 years old.
She said Post had a relative close in age to her daughters and he invited the two girls to come over for a playdate and spend the night at his home in Dunkirk.
Years later she was contacted by investigators about possible sexual abuse by Post so she brought her two daughters to the Child Advocacy Program.
After the mother exited the courtroom, more of the interview of Post with state police was played. In the video, Post named the two girls and the mother.
He shared how he had blindfolded the girls, tied their hands and abused them. He also said he had given them a part of a sleeping pill.
Post said in the video he felt bad for what he did. “I get the urge, I do it and then I hate myself for it,” he said.
He also noted that some of the abuse was recorded with his laptop, while other acts were not.
Post stated he never shared the videos with anyone or posted them online. “Those were for my eyes only,” he said.
After the video clip with police, the former Dunkirk resident’s daughter was brought in to testify. The girl who is now 11 confirmed she was blindfolded but couldn’t remember specifics of what had happened to her that day.
REQUESTS FOR NEW WITNESSES REJECTED
After the jury was dismissed for the day, the prosecution asked if they could add two new witnesses. One of the witnesses is an expert in sexual abuse syndrome, the other is a member of the Child Advocacy Program.
Public Defender Nathaniel Barone objected, saying the prosecution should have identified those witnesses before the trial began.
He also said if the expert in sexual abuse syndrome was permitted, he would file for a mistrial because he wouldn’t have time to find his own expert to counter what this new witness might say.
The defense also asked that a police officer who Post had allegedly said to him, “I should have been a cop because I have solved my own case” be excluded, arguing that Post’s comments could have been made in jest.
After listening to both sides, Judge David Foley agreed with the defense on all three instances, saying he doesn’t believe what the officer heard would add much to the case, and that the prosecution should have requested the other two witnesses before the trial began.
Post, who is now 27, was sentenced in February 2022 to 50 years in prison after being convicted on federal charges of production and possession of child pornography. He has remained in the Chautauqua County Jail awaiting trial on the local charges for crimes alleged to have been committed on numerous children between September 2015 and August 2019.
The trial began Thursday and will continue Tuesday morning.