Alleged victim: ‘I was trying to protect Abby’

Abigail Simon in court on Nov. 18, 2014.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The teen who was allegedly sexually assaulted by his tutor returned to the stand for the fourth time Wednesday as the defense continued to cross-examine him.

The teen remained on the stand for hours, answering graphic questions about his sexual history and relationship with Abigail Simon, a former tutor at Grand Rapids Catholic Central, where the teen was a student.

The defense pressed the teen about “lies” told in previous court hearings regarding the sexual relationship between him and Simon. The teen previously claimed that he forced Simon to have sex with him.

He responded by saying he said that because “I was trying to protect Abby.”

The defense attorney also asked the victim if he remembered pushing Simon down and pulling down her pants, which he denied. He said their relationship was consensual.

He responded to the defense’s attempt to turn around a text from Simon that implied she was bothered the teen didn’t seem to be enjoying their sexual encounters.

“I didn’t know what I was doing at the time,” he said as he explained the behavior the text was commenting on. “I’d never had any experience. I didn’t know what I was supposed to do.”

He denied the defense’s statement that the interaction was “angry.” He said he thought it was loving.

The prosecution fired back with more text message evidence, referencing one in which the defendant allegedly wrote a message to the teen discussing lap dances and sexual favors.

The victim went on to testify that Simon wanted him to leave with her and that he had sex with Simon every other day.

The alleged sexual relationship between the teen and Simon started in early 2013. He was 15 at the time. The Grand Rapids Catholic Central tutor was 33. Simon, now 35, is charged with first-degree sexual assault and accosting a minor for immoral purposes. 

The defense claims Simon was the victim and that she was intimidated by the 6-foot-3, 220-pound teen into staying in an abusive sexual relationship. Kent County Assistant Prosecutor Helen Brinkman has called that defense the “theater of the absurd.”

The trial started last week. Both the prosecution and defense have been using text messages between the teen and Simon to try to prove their case.

The teen testified for what is expected to be the last time Wednesday. The defense has confirmed that Simon will take the stand in her own defense, but it’s not yet clear when that will happen.

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