Jurors today began deliberating the fate of a 51-year-old man from the Philippines who is charged with several counts of performing lewd acts with children for allegedly molesting two female relatives in San Leandro about nine years ago. Prosecutor Venus Johnson told jurors in her closing argument that there is sufficient evidence to convict Levy Genove of molesting the alleged victims, who are adults now but were under the age of 14 at the time of the alleged offenses.
Johnson said jurors should believe the testimony by the two women during Genove’s trial because “they have nothing to hide and nothing to gain” by testifying against him. But Genove’s lawyer, Alameda County Associate Public Defender Patrick Jensen, told a courtroom packed with supporters of both Genove and the alleged victims that, “The only just and reasonable verdict is not guilty” because he thinks there are holes in the prosecution’s case against Genove. Jensen said, “No one saw anything, there’s an ever-shifting story” by the alleged victims, Genove doesn’t have a criminal record and 22 family members testified as character witnesses on his behalf.
However, Johnson said it shouldn’t be surprising that Genove’s relatives testified in support of him. “They love him, but that doesn’t mean he’s not a child molester,” Johnson said. San Leandro police Lt. Jeff Tudor said authorities began
investigating Genove when a 20-year-old woman contacted police last July 18 to report that Genove, her uncle, had molested her over a one-year period in 2003, when she was 12. The woman told police that Genove was visiting the Bay Area from the Philippines and was staying in San Leandro, Tudor said.
San Leandro detectives then discovered that he was planning to leave the U.S. to fly back to the Philippines six days later, on July 24, so they contacted U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at San Francisco International Airport and coordinated a plan to arrest him there, according to Tudor. The man was detained by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers later on July 24 as he attempted to board a flight to the Philippines and was turned over to San Leandro police, Tudor said.
Further investigation revealed that in addition to molesting the woman who had contacted police, Genove had also allegedly molested other family members around the same time, Tudor said. Jurors only deliberated for about half an hour today after they listened to the closing arguments by Johnson and Jensen and legal instructions by Alameda County Superior Court Judge Allan Hymer. They will resume their deliberations Wednesday morning.
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