A Superior Court judge last week took under advisement a question of whether prior sexual assaults can be introduced at the trial of a Mesa man accused of sexually assaulting two babysitters at different times in his home.
Dion Lee Earl,46, former owner of the Seattle Impact indoor-soccer team, is facing three felony and three misdemeanor charges in connection with assaulting the women, ages 18 and 21, who were babysitting his three children.
During a hearing last week, the prosecution argued for permission to introduce past allegations of sexual assault against Earl from five additional women.
Among them would be his 2014 trial on charges by former dancers for the Seattle Impact’s cheer squad.
Throughout the hearing, Earl denied the allegations and suggested the two women in the latest case had colluded against him because they had heard of the monetary damages he paid in the 2014 case.
Police reports state that while both women in the current case filed complaints within two months of each other, they did not know each other and were unaware of the other’s complaints.
Earl’s attorney, Christopher Doran, argued against introducing any testimony involving prior accusations, saying it would prejudice the jury.
During the hearing, Earl at times tearfully apologized but adamantly denied assaulting either woman.
“This is no sexual abuse,” he said, balling up tissues as he occasionally wept. “I just miss my kids. It didn’t have to be like this.”
Benjamin Taylor, who is representing one of the women in the current case, said after the hearing that Earl should plead guilty and hope for some mercy from the judge, adding, “A jury will crucify him.”
Kathleen Winn, director of the anti-human trafficking organization Project 25 and a close friend of the father of one of the two women, said the case shows the need for stricter laws regarding sexual predators.
The younger woman’s parents said that had they known of the past allegations against Earl, they would have never had her babysit at his home.
Earl’s next court appearance is Nov. 7.