Testimony heard in second day of child rape trial 

  • Jason Galvan is flanked by his attorneys at his trial in Hampshire Superior Court on Tuesday.  STAFF PHOTO/BERA DUNAU

Staff Writer
Published: 2/14/2019 12:25:36 AM

NORTHAMPTON — The prosecution rested its case in the trial of Jason Ray Galvan on child rape charges Wednesday, with the case expected to go to the jury on Thursday.

Galvan, 38, of West Brookfield, stands accused of multiple charges, including rape of a child with force. The charges stem from when he took showers with the alleged victim from when she was 5 to 7 years old, according to prosecutors.  

The alleged victim, who is now 16, came forward with the accusations in 2017, reportedly first telling a family member.

The day began with continued testimony from the mother of the alleged victim. Paul Skutnick, a former officer with the Ware Police Department, also took the stand and audio was played of an interview with the Ware Police Department that Galvan gave when the allegations were being investigated.

The prosecution then called Stephanie Block, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, whose research includes children in the legal system and the effect of trauma on children’s well-being.

Block was asked about memory, and also about the typical gap for the reporting of child abuse. She said that the gap can be decades, but that the average is about two years. She also said that delayed disclosure is the most common type of reporting for abuse, with the caveat that the most common might be not reporting. Block said that she had not reviewed details of the case.

When asked if not reporting a case of abuse for six or seven years was unusual, Block testified that it was not.

The defense called the grandmother of the alleged victim as its first witness.

The grandmother detailed how Galvan came to live with the family and alleged victim after he became ill as a teenager.

The trial resumes Thursday. 

Bera Dunau can be reached at bdunau@gazettenet.com.

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