Jury finds Morales guilty in child rape case

Wednesday, March 3, 2010 at 6:41pm
Mauricio Morales

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.

4 Comments on this post:

By: dsiggy1 on 3/3/10 at 7:27

Adios amigo! Im so so so very happy that the DNA evidence was solid in this case. With that being said it still took 4 hours to put this guy away for whats estimated to be 80+ years on this case alone. Hes got a few more trials pending where the nature of the crime is pretty much the same. Ive educated myself about this man since i got home from the trial. Im so very proud of my fellow jurors and alternates. if any of you read this great job everybody. Justice was served beyond a reasonable doubt. sleep easy ladies and gentlemen of the jury. I know i will. your pal juror #12

By: sidneyames on 3/4/10 at 7:41

But dsiggy1, look at the child molester in San Diego. He got out early and he's killed a girl now - maybe more.

I think the "pathetic, enabling and liberal" people in our court systems need to go to jail with the criminals. Hopefully he gots 80 plus years. I hope so.

Good job.

By: slzy on 3/4/10 at 10:53

what was this guys residentcy status?

if he was here illegaly,should'nt his employer be tried as an accessory?

By: dsiggy1 on 3/4/10 at 2:36

@slzy.....never heard about that in court during the trial. after the trial I learned that he was jailed in houston in 1998-2004. I get the impression Houston didnt want to float the bill on keeping him in their jails so they deported him back to El Salvador. Few years later he surfaces here......think we can assume he was illegal. Did he have an employer? Think we can assume he was unemployed. I mean they found him in an attic in texas before they extradited him back to nashville. Now its fun to assume after having to apply only factsin the case. Everything I learned about this guy after the case was on here at citipaper.com. Click the tag of his name under the story. It will bring up the other stories.