After more than four hours of deliberation Wednesday, a jury found Mauricio Alberto Morales guilty on all charges in the April 2009 rape of a 10-year-old girl.
Morales faced three counts of rape of a child, aggravated sexual battery and aggravated burglary.
The 10-year-old had told her parents that she awoke in the late night/early morning hours of April 24-25 and saw a man — identified during testimony Monday as Morales — standing in her bedroom. She told her parents that she had been sexually assaulted.
During closing arguments Wednesday morning, Assistant District Attorney Roger Moore argued only the victim's testimony was necessary for a conviction under the law because she positively identified Morales from the witness stand as the man who raped her.
"You've heard testimony from about 12 witnesses, but we could have stopped after the victim's testimony,” Moore told the jury of six men and six women.
"It's too bad this really wasn't a nightmare," Moore said.
Morales' attorney Joseph Davidow attempted to cast reasonable doubt on a timeline of the crime. Two witnesses had provided conflicting testimony as to how long it took to walk between Morales' apartment and the victim's home near the intersection of Old Hickory Boulevard and Nolensville Pike.
Davidow also questioned the lack of Morales' fingerprints on a window screen found removed from the victim's home and how the mother was the only one in contact with the victim's bedding and clothing.
But a recurring theme for the defense was that of the victim's history of nightmares and the fact that she was previously sexually assaulted.
"This isn't about what happened [previously], it's about [the victim's] nightmares," Davidow said.
But in the state's rebutal Assistant District Attorney Sharon Reddick said unless the victim, who was 10 years old at the time, dreamed of Morales' face and the mother then collected his sperm and planted it on the bed sheets then Morales was guilty.
Prior to hearing the closing arguments, Judge Monte Watkins denied the defense's motion for a judgment of acquittal based on lack of evidence.
Morales’ sentencing is scheduled for April 7.
In other cases, Morales faces four counts of aggravated rape and one count of aggravated burglary in a second incident as well as aggravated burglary, aggravated rape and child abuse in a third.
His next trial date is set for July 19.