Child abuse trial moving along quickly
By 11/23/2000 00:00:00
Ellis County Press
WAXAHACHIE — Anxious to conclude the child abuse trial involving two DeSoto police officers before the Thanksgiving holiday, Judge Gene Knize informed jurors proceedings will run late if necessary.
Lt. William Ransom and his wife, Judy Ransom, are charged with injury to a child and sexual assault involving their nephew, who was 13 years old at the time of the alleged incident. Both defendants assert they are innocent of the charges.
On Tuesday, Nov. 14, a Waxahachie ISD nurse, an administrator, and a teacher testified they reported the abuse last February after the boy came to school with a black eye. Further examination reportedly revealed the boy had numerous bruises on his buttocks and was wearing a device prescribed for incontinence. The device was intended for periodic use at intervals of approximately 20 minutes each.
On Nov. 17, Lt. William Ransom took the stand as the first witness for the defense. Ransom testified he did spank the boy using a paddle and even a police duty belt but denied ever doing so as punishment for episodes of incontinence. Ransom said that he believed the peri-anal sensor, prescribed at the Incontinence Clinic in Dallas, was helpful but that he had instructed the boy to use it only after school.
Ransom also denied the prosecution's allegations of handcuffing the boy to the bar in the bathtub. Later, the defense called Cliff Bigalow, a metallurgist from Dallas, for corroborating testimony. 'In my opinion, the bar never came into contact with the handcuffs,' Bigalow said.
The defense also called two other DeSoto police officers as character witnesses. 'In my opinion, the Ransoms would never abuse a child,' said Captain Warren Box.
A separate hearing that seeks to dissolve the parental rights of the biological parents of the children has been postponed until December. According to Mark Griffith, attorney for the boy, the San Antonio couple will not contest the dissolution. The children were removed from the custody of their parents in 1992 after allegations of neglect and sexual assault. The father, a registered sex offender, has since served time in prison for the assaults.