Ithaca, N.Y. — A 43-year-old Dryden man appeared in Tompkins County Court on Tuesday on two counts of first-degree sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child charges.

Edward Alexander, who was indicted in July 2014, is accused of sexually abusing a minor younger than 15 in January 2014.

Prosecutors say Alexander inappropriately grabbed a victim while the victim was sleeping.

The defense, however, urged the jury to consider what it called the “questionable” reliability of the prosecution’s witnesses.

Prosecution calls on victim and relative for testimony

The child testified in court on Tuesday that the event occurred when the child was visiting Alexander’s home.

The victim said he or she had gone to sleep on the couch after midnight while Alexander was watching television in the same living room. The child testified in court that Alexander’s advances began a little before 2:30 a.m.

Alexander moved away from the victim once the victim woke up, and Alexander asked the victim multiple times not to tell relatives about what had happened, the victim testified. The victim added that, the next morning, Alexander apologized in front of relatives, saying, “I am not a monster.”

The victim also said that Alexander gave the victim a cup of what tasted like alcohol mixed with soda.

The child told family about Alexander’s actions the next morning, according to the testimony of one family member.

The defense questioned how much alcohol the relative had consumed that night. The relative said she had consumed wine but did not know how much.

The case will be taken up again at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, April 29 in the Tompkins County court, presided by Judge Hon. Joseph R. Cassidy.

(If you or someone you know has experienced domestic or sexual violence and needs support, please call the Advocacy Center’s 24-hour hotline at 607-277-5000.)

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