OAKLAND -- For several months more than a decade ago, a now 16-year-old girl said in court she suffered the most horrifying abuse imaginable.
Her then 16-year-old uncle, Alejandro Amezcua, sexually abused her, she said, on numerous occasions in almost every room of a two-bedroom Union City apartment Amezcua shared with his mother, brother and sister-in-law.
The 16-year-old girl told her story in court earlier this month and on Wednesday, Alameda County Deputy District Attorney Scott Ford asked the jury to convict Amezcua of eight felony counts including four counts of a lewd act upon a child under 14 years old and three counts of aggravated sexual assault on a child under 14.
The aggravated sexual assault charges technically cover three different incidents -- a rape, a sodomy and an oral copulation.
The girl told the jury about the various incidents including a time when Amezcua allegedly forced her to watch a pornographic movie and then forced her to re-enact what she saw on the television with him.
Other incidents include Amezcua allegedly forcing the girl to touch his penis while both were in a swimming pool and numerous instances when Amezcua would allegedly sexually touch the girl against her wishes.
"She was just a little girl who could not protect herself," Ford said after showing a picture of the girl when she was 5 years old, the same age she was when the abuse began. "She is never going to forget this, she is never going to get her childhood back."
Union City police were first notified in 2011 after a school nurse reported that the girl had mentioned the alleged abuse during a visit to the nurse's office. The girl told the nurse about the alleged abuse in response to routine discussions the nurse has with teenage girls.
An investigation by police revealed that the girl had, in the past, told both her brother and a friend about the alleged abuse but pleaded with both not to tell anyone.
As part of the police investigation, the girl made a phone call to Amezcua, which police recorded and in which she spoke of the alleged abuse.
"It's not fair what you did to me," the girl is heard saying.
"I know," Amezcua responded.
After a couple more exchanges, the girl says she wants to talk to someone about the incidents but Amezcua urges her not to.
"You can't tell that ... because you'll get everyone in trouble," he is heard saying.
Amezcua's attorney, Julius Engel, argued that his client is being falsely accused and urged the jury to question why it took the girl so long to report the crimes.
Engel also said that the jury should not convict his client of rape or sodomy because there is no physical evidence proving the allegation and it was unclear through her testimony if she understood what was happening. Engel said the case is based solely on the girl's testimony and questioned if she simply made up the story as a cover for why she was doing badly at school.
"Credibility is the cornerstone of this case," Engel said. "If you don't believe her it's over and her testimony is not believable."
Ford said it was "preposterous" to think that a girl would make up such a story and continue to lie to investigators and in court just for an excuse to escape trouble for bad grades.
"The defense is throwing everything to the wall and hoping something sticks," Ford said.