Closing arguments expected today in sexual battery trial

By By Johnathan Manning / American Press

A six-person jury heard testimony from an alleged victim as well as a police interview with a man accused of inappropriately

touching an 8-year-old girl on Christmas Eve 2011 in Hayes.

Jeffrey Wayne Cormier, 38, faces one count of sexual battery. He is being held in the Calcasieu Correctional Center on $200,000


On the stand Tuesday, the girl said Cormier began touching her on her buttocks under her underwear, then moved his hand around

to her genitals.

Cormier said he had his hand on the back of the girl’s thigh to keep her from falling as she searched for a toy under the

futon on which they were sitting. He repeatedly denied touching the girl inappropriately.

The girl testified that she was often alone with Cormier, but that was the first time he had touched her inappropriately.

The girl, her brother and Cormier said they were playing when a toy went under the futon.

Her brother began searching for it under the bed, while she leaned over the rail to look for it, he testified. The brother

said he did not see Cormier touch his sister.

The girl’s mother walked to the door of the room and saw Cormier touching her daughter, the mother testified. She said she

could not see if his hands were over or under her daughter’s pants but had no doubt where his hands where.

“I asked him what he was doing and he said playing,” the mother said. “I said that’s not how you play.”

She took her daughter to a neighbor’s house and called authorities, she said.

Detective Lisa Hardy asked Cormier several times if he had inappropriately touched the girl.

“My parents raised me better than that; my parents raised me much better than that,” he said.

Closing arguments are expected this morning, after which the case will be turned over to the jury.