EDITOR’S NOTE: This post contains graphic information into the abuse of a child.
The State rested their case this afternoon following testimony from their final witnesses. Today, the Prosecution called six witnesses to testify in the case against Hiawatha Robinson, the man accused of sexually assaulting and killing his 8-year-old daughter Hiawayi in 2014.
Dr. Jessica Kirk took the stand today to testify about child sex abuse.
Kirk is one of only 300 child sex abuse experts in the country and works as a pediatrician at the University of South Alabama hospital.
She reviewed both Hiawayi’s medical records as well as her autopsy and testified that physical evidence shows the girl had been the victim of “chronic rape.” She said she believed the sodomy happened for the first time prior to the girl’s death.
Kirk testified that one in four girls are sexually abused on average and that many don’t report it because their rapist manipulates them.
She went on to say that most sexual crimes against children are committed by people who are close to the child, typically those who spend a lot of time alone with the child.
It was Hiawatha’s defense attorney who steered that line of questioning, insinuating that Hiawayi’s mother Yosha Populus‘ alleged sexual partners would have spent time near the child, thus making them possible suspects.
Earlier testimony revealed that Populus’ sexual partners were not investigated by the FBI and that she does not know the father of her youngest child.
An FBI forensics expert also testified today, saying no DNA came back from fingerprints, hair beads, or fingernail clippings obtained by investigators.
Forensic toxicologist Mary Ellen Mai took the stand, saying that Hiawayi’s blood tested negative for alcohol, drugs, and pesticides.
Derrick Taylor, with ALEA, spent a majority of the day on the stand. Taylor was called to work Hiawayi’s case when it was still considered a missing persons case. He was heavily involved with the investigation from that point forward. An audio recording of Taylor’s interview with Hiawatha on the day the defendant was arrested for his daughter’s murder was played for the court.
In the video, Taylor can be heard accusing Hiawatha of sodomizing and “accidentally” killing Hiawayi. Throughout the entire tape, Hiawatha denies all allegations against him, but when the defendant is accused of sodomizing his daughter he is audibly upset.
Taylor laid out a timeline of events using surveillance footage from the strip mall Hiawayi was last seen at. His timeline is as follows:
4:00 p.m. A Red SUV Is Captured Driving Towards Best Future Gas Station
4:30 p.m. Hiawayi Is Captured Walking Into The Best Future Gas Station
**Hiawayi is inside Best Future for 7 minutes, Red SUV disappears from cameras for 8 minutes**
4:10 p.m. Hiawayi Is Captured Walking Out Of The Best Future Gas Station
4:11 p.m. Red SUV Is Captured Driving Away From Best Future Gas Station
Court resumes tomorrow morning at 10 a.m. The Defense is expected to call a small number of witnesses to the stand. Judge Graddick says he expects closing statements to be made tomorrow afternoon.
News 5 will be bringing you reports from the courtroom. Stayed tuned.