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2:35 PM Sat, Nov. 17th

Trial begins for man accused of raping girl

Robert Monahan

Robert Monahan

KINGMAN - Opening statements were made Tuesday in the case of a 37-year-old man accused of repeatedly raping an 11-year-old girl beginning in 2001.

Robert Patrick Monahan is charged with three counts of sexual conduct with a minor and one count of attempted sexual conduct with a minor.

Prosecutor Megan McCoy said Monahan took advantage of his relationship with the girl's mother and his position of trust in the family when he allegedly engaged in sexual intercourse with the girl over a year-long period after the family moved to Kingman. But defense attorney Robin Puchek says the victim - now 20 - has fabricated the abuse as a means of getting back at the man who left her mother for another woman.

The case, being heard before Judge Rick Williams in Mohave Superior Court, is expected to last at least a week.

Jurors will hear from multiple witnesses, including the victim herself, who is paralyzed and wheelchair-bound from a car accident when she was a child.

McCoy said the abuse began when the family lived in Nevada and continued when they moved to Kingman in 2001. She said it began with Monahan watching pornographic movies with the girl and progressed to sexual intercourse while her mother was working the graveyard shift.

Monahan was sentenced to intensive probation in 2003 after he pleaded guilty to touching two of the victim's friends during a sleepover. Puchek said that if the girl was being abused, she could have come forward then, when she was interviewed by police.

"It would have been the perfect opportunity for her to come forward and spill the beans, but she does not," he said.

McCoy said the victim did not feel comfortable coming forward until Monahan was completely out of the family's life.

"She believed that this man who was gone needed to stay gone," the prosecutor said.