Saturday, October 05, 2002

Man, 65, guilty of molesting two girls


Morrow resident's wife had been their babysitter

By Sheila McLaughlin smclaughlin@enquirer.com
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        LEBANON - A 65-year-old Morrow man was convicted Friday of molesting two girls his wife baby-sat at their Pike Street apartment last year.

        A Warren County jury deliberated just more than three hours before finding Sonia “Wendy” Laseur guilty of one count of attempted rape and three counts of gross sexual imposition.

        Jurors acquitted Mr. Laseur of two more serious charges of rape involving oral sex with one of the girls, who was 11 at the time.

        The girls' mothers pumped their fists in a victory gesture and whispered “yes” as Judge P. Daniel Fedders read the jury's decision on each charge aloud in court.

        Mr. Laseur, who adamantly denied the allegations when he testified a day earlier, sat quietly and expressionless next to his attorney.

        “They are so happy,” a mother said after the hearing. “They were so scared if he got out. They didn't know what he was going to do.”

        Her daughter was not molested. But, the girl, now 10, alleged that Mr. Laseur began stalking her and that he exposed himself and asked her and another girl to touch him while his wife was at the store. The 10-year-old girl eventually reported the incident, sparking the police investigation.

        Mr. Laseur, who has 11 children, 39 grandchildren and 40 great-grandchildren, has been jailed since Morrow police arrested him June 27. He faces up to 23 years in prison when he is sentenced Tuesday.

        Mr. Laseur's wife, Claudia, told the Enquirer she had no idea her husband was molesting the girls.

        She wept outside the courtroom following the hearing, and asked forgiveness from two of the mothers who are still her neighbors. One family has moved away.

        . “I love each one of the girls” Mrs. Laseur told the women. “I wouldn't hurt them for nothing.”

       



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