Jury: York City man sexually assaulted 2 girls

Liz Evans Scolforo
York Dispatch

A York County prosecutor told jurors two little girls had no reason to lie when they testified at trial that they were sexually assaulted by Terrell Debarge Gable.

"They have remained completely consistent in (recounting) the trauma they experienced," deputy prosecutor Teresa Jauregui told jurors Thursday, Jan. 18, during closing arguments in Gable's trial.

"What motivation do these girls have to lie?" she asked. "There is none."

Terrell Debarge Gable

Jauregui urged them to take a "cold and dispassionate" look at the evidence, which she said would show "who was telling the truth and who was lying."

Jurors complied, finding Gable guilty Thursday of the felonies of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and indecent assault of a child less than 13 years old, as well as two counts of misdemeanor corruption of minors.

Gable remains in York County Prison awaiting sentencing, set for 1:30 p.m. Feb. 26 before presiding Common Pleas Judge Maria Musti Cook.

The victims: One victim was about 3½ years old when Gable made her lie on a kitchen table as he assaulted her in 2014, according to Jauregui.

The other girl was somewhere between 7 and 9 years old when she was assaulted; it's unclear exactly when it occurred because the girl didn't immediately report the attack, the prosecutor said.

"She thought she was going to get yelled at — that it was her fault," Jauregui told the jury.

In that attack, Gable crept into the girl's home through a window that didn't lock and raped her on a first-floor couch where she'd been sleeping, the prosecutor said.

The girl testified at trial that she yelled for help, but Gable told her to shut up, according to Jauregui.

Afterward, he smoked a cigarette before leaving, she said.

Gable knows the girl and her family, and he knew the window lock was broken, according to Jauregui.

"He took an opportunity he couldn't pass up when he saw a young girl sleeping," she told the jury.

The defense: Gable, who maintains his innocence, was represented at trial by defense attorneys Korey Leslie and Jennifer Smith.

During her closing argument, Smith urged jurors to consider whether the delay in reporting suggested the girls' reports weren't credible.

She argued that a kitchen is a risky place to commit such an act.

"If you were going to sexually assault a child, would you do it in the most vulnerable room in the house?" Smith asked, adding no one else in the home heard anything that night.

Both girls testified they felt guilty about the encounters, Smith reminded jurors, then suggested perhaps they'd been coached.

"They both used the same word to describe how they felt ... which I found strange," she said in her closing argument.

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Blackouts: She told jurors her client suffered from blackouts and can't remember what happened during them. 

Gable kept telling York City Police Detective Kyle Hower during his police interview, "I'll just tell you what you want to hear," Smith noted.

But Jauregui reminded jurors that Hower consistently replied to Gable that he only wanted the truth.

— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.