sucked their toes or made them pose for digital pictures he allegedly
took and filed away in his home computer.
The defense has argued that Veches did suck the boys' toes, but
that it was not sexual.
On Monday, the second day of the trial, the prosecution brought
about 10 boys to the witness stand, seemingly aiming to establish a
consistent pattern of behavior on Veches' part -- that he had a foot
fetish and was specifically obsessed with young boys' feet.
The boys who testified on Monday were between 7 and 12 years old
and each about a year younger at the time of the alleged crimes.
One 8-year-old boy said "everyone" at the city's after-school
program he went to saw Veches sucking his toes.
"The grown-ups were there," he told defense attorney John Dolan,
who was cross-examining him. "They saw it. Everyone saw it."
The boy said he told his father about the toe-sucking.
"My father said it was a bad thing to do," he said. "So the next
time he did it, I told him to stop doing that. I told him it was a
bad thing to do. And then [Veches] said 'OK.'"
Another 8-year-old boy said Veches made him pose for pictures.
"It's kinda confusing," he told prosecutor Sheila Hanson. "He'd
suck on my toes for some reason. I didn't think it was cruel. But it
wasn't right, somehow."
When Hanson showed the boy a photo and asked him what Veches was
doing in that picture, the boy shook his head and frowned.
"Sucking my toes," he replied. "I didn't really like it either."
One other boy said he liked getting piggyback rides from Veches,
but was nervous when Veches put "my foot in his mouth."
Another 7-year-old boy said Veches would be "mean" to him if he
"If I wouldn't let him suck my feet, he wouldn't give me candy,"
Veches faces 28 felony counts of lewd contact with minors and one
misdemeanor count of possessing child pornography. He pleaded guilty
to the misdemeanor and not guilty on the felonies. Veches quit his
job after the allegations.
If convicted, he faces life in prison without the possibility of
parole for at least 25 years.
The prosecution is expected to rest its case today.
* DEEPA BHARATH covers public safety and courts. She may be
reached at (949) 574-4226 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.