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Thu., Apr. 24
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Opening statements made in Canton child sexual abuse trial

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CANTON — Opening statements in Richard Thornton’s sexual abuse trial painted him as both a habitual predator and a victim of lies.

Thornton, 37, Canton, is charged with felony predatory sexual assault against a child, felony first- and second-degree course of sexual conduct against a child and two counts of misdemeanor endangering the welfare of a child.

He is accused of sexually abusing a 10-year-old girl from summer 2008 to summer 2010, and of sexually abusing a 14-year-old girl from summer 2002 to summer 2009.

Prosecutors attacked the morals and integrity of the man standing trial.

Chief Assistant District Attorney Amanda N. Nissen told the jurors the abuse occurred on a regular basis.

Mary E. Rain, Thornton’s attorney, said the alleged victims stories evolved through each police interview.

The victims “keep adding on and adding on to please authority figures,” Ms. Thornton said.

Ms. Nissen said she plans on calling a nurse to testify Monday who is highly experienced in sexual abuse cases.

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