More than three years since the accusation was first made, 47-year-old Steve Anthony Lam was in court to face charges that he molested his children's friend in the summer of 2008.
The victim, now 15, accused Lam of touching her inappropriately when she was spending the night with his children and of trying to force her to touch him inappropriately. According to Assistant District Attorney Peter Boehm, the victim was "frozen by fear."
"You'll know about the secret, which is child molestation... you have the opportunity to break that secret just like [the victim] did in 2008 when she was brave and told what happened to her."
"That's a great story if that was what happened," said Lam's defense attorney Lee Sexton. He alleges that the victim got angry with Lam because he yelled at her about jumping on furniture and turning the television up loudly when he was trying to sleep and made up the allegations of molestation to get back at him.
"You're going to be asked by the state to brand a man a child molester for the rest of his life because of the statement of a 12-year-old that tells lies. Please don't do that."
Several witnesses, including the victim's mother and her relative that was, at the time, married to Lam, took the stand to tell about the victim's accusations. The all agreed that initially the victim would not talk about the incident, that she cried and appeared scared. Her mother said she slept in the bed with her for months after this allegedly happened and complains of phantom pains in her legs even still during times of stress. She said that she was convinced Lam was hiding in her closet or under her bed with a knife.
During a forensic interview at Scottish Rite, the victim told interviewer Tamara Hurst that, "A guy that my dad thought was a very good friend, he touched me and I don't know why. His name is Steve."
While the video of the interview played, the victim hung her head and her mother cried quietly. Supporters of Lam shook their heads at the accusations.
The case will continue today in the courtroom of Judge Horace Johnson Jr. Lam, who is out on bail, is being charged with child molestation and sexual battery.