Witness breaks down on stand at Villareal sexual assault trial

David Villareal is accused of sexually assaulting girls when he was a second-grade teacher
Published: Apr. 25, 2023 at 5:21 AM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Testimony is underway in the trial of a former Green Bay teacher accused of sexually assaulting second-graders at Baird Elementary School.

David Villareal is on trial for several charges, including two counts of first-degree sexual assault of a person under 13, one count of first-degree sexual assault of a child under 16, and a count of repeated acts of sexual assault of a child. Each charge carries 40 to 60 years in prison if convicted. Villareal was charged in April 2021 but his trial was pushed back a number of times.

On the first day of the trial we heard very emotional testimony from one of the girls. The judge called a 15-minute recess after the girl, now 15, said she was in second grade when Villareal touched her inappropriately. The prosecution asked her if she told someone what happened to her. The girl said she told a trusted family member, and that’s when she broke down, crying on the stand.

She became emotional several more times while describing to the jury what happened to her.

There are four alleged victims in the case, who were 7 and 8 years old at the time of the incidents. To protect their identities, Action 2 News is not identifying them.

Testimony came after a jury of 14 -- 12 who will decide a verdict and 2 alternates -- was chosen out of a pool of 85 potential jurors. The trial went immediately into opening statements.

“These witnesses and the testimony that comes before you, the State believes this will show you what happened in this case,” prosecutor Wendy Lemkuil told jurors.

The defense stayed firm, denying all of the claims.

“Not all contact is a crime. It needs to be sexually motivated, to sexually gratify the person who is doing the touching,” Kirk Obear said.

The trial is expected to take the full week.