ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – The trial for a man accused of multiple sex crimes entered its second day.
Dominic Yocco is facing around 30 sex charges involving 10 different minor girls. Those charges include first-degree rape, first-degree statutory rape, second-degree sodomy, and statutory sodomy with a person under 14 years old. The crimes allegedly happened between November 2016 and July 2018 in St. Louis County.
During testimony Wednesday, a witness said she went to hang out with a male friend she met on the internet. She assumed it was only going to the two of them. When she was picked up, there were more people in the car than she expected. Her friend from the internet was with Yocco and another boy. She told the court she didn’t really know any of them.
The witness said the four of them stopped at Yocco’s grandmother’s house. Three of them went into the house and the girl stayed outside. The group went to another person’s house for an alleged drug deal. The witness said she again stayed in the vehicle as the others went inside.
The group then went back to Yocco’s house. She told the jury she followed Yocco downstairs and was alone with him. He gave her an unopened Gatorade bottle and she cracked it open. She saw him crush up blue drugs. When he offered them to her, she declined.
She went to play with the pets in the house and shot a video of a cat playing with the drugs. The video was used as evidence in court. While she was playing with the pets, she had her eyes off her bottle of Gatorade.
When she went to drink her Gatorade, she noticed a blue powder in it. She recalled watching an episode of “Criminal Minds” and realized she was in a bad situation.
She asked again where the two other people were. Yocco said their mutual friend was upstairs.
Their mutual friend was sitting with another person in the bedroom. She went into the room and sat on the bed. She was trying to make conversation, but while doing so, she was also texting her best friend about the blue substance in her drink.
Yocco entered the room and sat on the bed on the opposite side of her. The bed was against the wall.
Then the two other people got a message at the same time. She said she heard an alert sound go off. Without a word, both of them got up and left.
The witness said she and Yocco were alone in the room. He turned the television volume up and began walking around the room. When he moved away from the nightstand, she told the jury she noticed a gun.
She said that Yocco started by politely asking her to cuddle with him, but then it turned aggressive.
Yocco forced her to cuddle with him and started touching her in ways she did not want, the witness said. She tried to be calm and polite because she was concerned about the gun and the situation.
Yocco stood up and tried to force her to give him oral sex by exposing himself to her.
The witness stated at this time she had started recording the situation. The video was not shown in court. Eventually, she got back on her phone.
She navigated her phone, hit a ringtone sound, and made it sound like someone was calling her.
She pretended her dad was calling and ran out of the room. She opened the first door she saw and realized she was in the bathroom.
She heard Yocco pounding on the door and making angry threats. She said that he claimed to know she was not on the phone with her dad.
She said she crawled into the bathtub, remembering the gun she saw on the nightstand. She said that she did this in case Yocco had the gun and tried to shoot through the door.
She contacted her best friend through a video call and told him what had happened. Her best friend just got off work and was already on his way to get her. He knew she was in Florissant somewhere.
She gave him her address and hung up. She said she waited in the bathtub for 15 minutes when her best friend arrived.
Prosecutors called the witness’ best friend to the stand, who supported her testimony.
The best friend said he was the one who came and got her. He said he could tell the witness was upset while on the phone.
During the drive home, the best friend testified the witness cried about half-an-hour.
Prosecutors next called Michelle Stille to the stand. She works with the Child Advocacy Center as a forensic interviewer, and has experience interviewing young victims of sexual assault.
Stille said she didn’t interview anyone connected to this case. Stille provided her expertise in how a child acts in interviews. She explained how they respond to talking about their sexual assault.
Stille also confirmed it’s common for victims to know their predator.
It is also common to have a continued relationship with them. And it’s also common for victims not to talk about their abuse for days, weeks, months and even years.
The next witness was St. Louis County Police Det. Chrystal Ruhmann. She had photos taken of Yocco’s grandmother’s house after his arrest. The discussion of these photos led to a Snapchat video showing both Yocco and an unnamed underaged girl.
The young girl was wrapped up in a blanket. It looked as if a sombrero and a bottle of alcohol had been strategically placed on her. She looked passed out and Yocco stood over her smiling and making gestures.
After hearing the last witness, the judge decided to break for the day.
Jurors might hear from one last witness Thursday and then closing statements.