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Veches jury may begin...

BRIEFLY IN THE NEWS

May 15, 2003

BRIEFLY IN

THE NEWS

Veches jury may begin deliberations

Jury deliberations are expected to begin today in the trial of the

former Newport Beach recreation coordinator accused of sucking the

toes of several young boys enrolled in the city's after-school

programs.

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Trenton Veches, 32, was expected to testify in his defense, but he

did not take the stand. Defense attorney John Dolan had said when the

trial began that his client "wanted to tell his side of the story."

Dolan has argued that Veches sucked or bit the children's feet,

but that it was not for sexual gratification. The prosecution rested

its case Wednesday morning. The defense was done by Wednesday

afternoon. The trial began a week ago.

The prosecution put several boys on the stand who testified that

Veches had sucked their toes and taken digital photographs of their

feet.

Veches faces 25 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. He initially faced

28 felony charges, but some of those were dropped before the trial,

officials said.

Veches quit his job after the allegations. If convicted, he faces

a maximum sentence of life in prison without the possibility of

parole for at least 25 years.

The attorneys will present their closing arguments this morning.

-- Deepa Bharath

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