On Wednesday, a 20-year-old testified against Darryl Lierman for a second time about the alleged sexual abuse she claims began nearly 10 years ago.
The state's witness, whose name will not be released by the Antelope County News to protect her identity, was also the alleged victim in the 2011 Lierman case in which a jury found him not guilty of similar charges.
Lierman, 51, is accused of three counts of first-degree sexual assault of a child, two counts of third-degree sexual assault of a child, and three counts of child abuse. He has pleaded not guilty to all eight charges. Lierman’s court-appointed attorneys are Doug Stratton and Jason Doele, and the state is represented by Antelope County Attorney Joe Abler, Assistant Antelope County Attorney Joe Smith and Assistant Nebraska Attorney General Sandra Allen.
The alleged sexual abuse victim testified for approximately an hour. While questioned by prosecutor Sandra Allen, she claimed that Lierman had pain in his back, hips and feet, so she would walk on his back, rub his hips and put lotion on his feet from the time she was 6 or 7 years old. She said it started out as once or twice a week but progressed to every day or twice a day as she got older. The witness demonstrated what she described as "hip rubs" for the jury, as she placed her hands on her hips and angled them down toward her legs. She described a time, when another person was in the room, and her hand accidentally moved over his groin area, and he told her no and to go to bed. The following night, the witness said Lierman asked her to do what she had done the previous night.
Another time, she said they were wrestling on the floor, and Lierman said he wanted to show her something and performed oral sex on her. After that, the witness said sexual acts began occurring more frequently in Lierman's bedroom and in the semi truck when she rode along with him. She said he pulled her beneath him on the mattress in the semi, had sex with her and placed a pillow over her face when she began screaming in pain.
"It hurt, and I was scared, terrified, betrayed," the witness said. Afterward, she said she hid in the semi. The witness said after she came out of hiding, Lierman said he was going to turn himself in. She told him not to because she didn't want her siblings "to grow up without a dad."
The witness also described several other acts, including times Lierman allegedly asked her to perform oral sex on him, used a black massager on her vagina and penetrated her with a purple sex toy. She described when she was asked to model underwear for him while topless and watched her as she showered.
The witness said before Lierman left for an over-the-road trip in his semi, she was concerned that she was pregnant, so he started punching her in the stomach, hoping to stop the pregnancy. While he was gone, the witness confided to her friends about the suspected pregnancy. She said her friends escorted her to the school guidance counselor's office at Neligh-Oakdale and she told April Knust. The witness said she wanted to call her dad "to tell him I told our secret," but school officials didn't allow her to call. "He was still my dad, and I still loved him," she said. The witness said after she returned from Norfolk for a child advocacy interview, the situation at home "was tense." She said it worsened when Lierman returned and was arrested.
In the cross examination, which lasted a matter of minutes, Jason Doele asked about her past testimony and brought her honesty into question, citing past testimony when she allegedly admitted to getting into trouble for lying. In her redirect, Allen asked her what kinds of things she got into trouble for lying about. The witness said "chores and not doing her homework."
Seven other witnesses testifying on Wednesday were Ardith Carr, former Antelope County Sheriff's Department jailer/dispatcher; Kelly Wacker, forensic interviewer for the child advocacy department at Faith Regional in Norfolk; April Knust, Neligh-Oakdale guidance counselor; Xacjare Rath, a former inmate of the Madison County Jail; Edward Sexton, an investigator with the Nebraska Attorney General's Office; and Joanne Lohse, owner of a rental home in Tilden; and Brittney Marshall Nelson and Destiny Francis, friends of the first accuser.
Carr testified about what she witnessed when Lierman was incarcerated in the Antelope County Jail and became agitated after his family visited. "I heard a crash and a voice say he cut himself," she said. Carr described a scene in which Lierman appeared to be bleeding from his neck, there was a broken light fixture in the holding room, and puddle of blood on the floor. There was "a scuffle" with officers and EMTs were called. In cross examination, Stratton asked if this testimony was related to the 2011 case and she replied, "Yes."
Wacker described her interview with the first accuser, and actual video footage of the interview was shown to the jury. In Stratton's cross-examination, he simply asked if it was her responsibility to see if a child has lied, to which she responded, "No."
Knust, Nelson and Francis were each called to testify to the time in which Lierman's first accuser disclosed the fact that she had sex with Lierman and may be pregnant. In cross examination, Stratton asked if this testimony was related to the 2011 case and each replied, "Yes."
Sexton testified about the analysis he performed on the laptop computer which was seized as evidence from the Lierman home. He said he found numerous family photos, around 20 pornographic images, one pornographic video and saw that four different pornographic websites had been accessed. Stratton questioned if the computer was password protected or if it was possible to tell who was at the computer, to which Sexton replied, "No," to each.
Rath testified about a time he was incarcerated at the Madison County Jail in 2010-2011 and spoke with Lierman when no one else was around. The witness said it "turned into a confession" as to what he had been doing with the accuser, describing sex and oral sex with her. He said Lierman also described his suicide attempt at the Antelope County Jail. Rath said he later relayed this conversation to Joe Smith but was not promised anything in exchange for his testimony. In the cross examination, Doele asked the witness if he tried to speak with police or a jailer after Lierman told him these things, and he replied, "No." The defense attorney also questioned whether he had been under the influence of drugs when he spoke to Smith, to which he replied, "Yes."