Jury hears opening statements in Eric Parmenter trial

Allison Ullmann - Staff
Judge Gregory Hulse addresses the jury on Tuesday, Sept. 18 while Erica Clark, assistant county attorney, Chris Kemp, defense attorney and Eric Parmenter, defendant, look on. PHOTO BY ALLISON ULLMANN/THE PERRY CHIEF

Opening statements were presented on the morning of Tuesday, Sept. 18 in the case against Eric Parmenter.

Judge Gregory Hulse and members of the jury first heard the opening statements from Erica Clark, assistant district county attorney.

Clark said Parmenter was being charged with two counts of sexual abuse in the third degree for two acts committed in the summer of 2010.

She went on to add that Parmenter had entered a plea of not guilty for both incidents.

Clark told the members of the jury that over the course of the trial, they would hear a story about a teenage girl, her family and her family friends.

She added that the teenage girl dated the son of those family friends. The son of the family friends, Clark said, was significantly older than the teenage girl. She was 15 and he was 19.

They dated and broke up in secret. Clark added that they remained friends because their family was such good friends.

Things changed in 2010. Clark said the defendant forced the girl to have sex with him in two separate incidents in the summer of 2010. The girl was 17 at the time.

The girl, Clark added, didn’t come forward to tell her story for a long time. She gradually told her family. Clark said that led to the girl telling the police, which led to the trial starting on Sept. 18.

Clark told the jury that over the course of the trial they would hear from witnesses and hear evidence in the case. She added that at the end of the trial, she would ask the jury to find the defendant guilty.

Parmenter’s defense attorney, Chris Kemp, then presented his opening statements.

He encouraged the jury to listen critically to the witnesses and evaluate all of the evidence before making any conclusions.

Kemp said the jury will find that the State can’t meet its burden. He asked the jury to return a verdict of not guilty.

Parmenter was arrested by the Perry Police Department on four counts of third degree sexual abuse on Friday, March 16.

A statement from the Perry Police Department said it was alleged in the complaints that Parmenter committed a sex act on a female under the age of 18 without her consent.

Two of the four counts of third degree sexual abuse were dismissed on Sept. 17 by Judge Richard Clogg.

Clark said in a motion to dismiss that the State no longer believes that sufficient evidence exists to continue prosecuting Counts 1 and 2.

Clark went on to add that the State believes Counts 3 and 4 are supported by enough evidence to continue prosecution through trial.

The Perry Chief will continue to update this story as the trial continues.