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Teen accuser admits lying to authorities

Details of alleged trysts are focus of testimony in O.C. molestation trial of ex-Rohrabacher aide.

March 01, 2007|Christopher Goffard | Times Staff Writer

A defense attorney forced Jeff Nielsen's teenage accuser Wednesday to admit he had lied to authorities regarding certain details of their alleged affair.

The accuser was a 14-year-old freshman at a Westminster high school when, he says, he had three sexual encounters in 2003 with Nielsen, a former aide to Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Huntington Beach).

The accuser, now 18 and identified only as John Doe, told an investigator that on April 2, 2003, he had sex in his bedroom with Nielsen. Under cross-examination from defense attorney Paul Meyer, however, the teenager said it happened in his mother's room and that he'd lied because he didn't want to anger her.

The accuser also acknowledged he had told a detective that Nielsen once picked him up at a Mexican restaurant, an assertion he now admits wasn't true.

"You made it up?" the defense attorney asked.

"Yes," the teenager said.

"Were you believable when you told him?"

"Yes."

The defense attorney added, "The whole thing isn't a big lie, is it?"

"No," was the teen's reply.

The testimony came during Doe's second day of cross-examination in Judge Craig E. Robison's Newport Beach courtroom where Nielsen, 36, is being tried on charges of child molestation. Nielsen denies the charges.

The accuser testified that he met Nielsen through an Internet chat room for gay men seeking sex. He said that in late May 2003 he had sex with Nielsen at Nielsen's Ladera Ranch condominium.

Under cross-examination Wednesday, the teenager acknowledged sending Nielsen an e-mail after the alleged tryst in which he wrote, "Hey, next time can we make out?"

The accuser testified that, following the second encounter, he told Nielsen he wanted to break off contact to find someone his age, but agreed to a final tryst after Nielsen begged to see him.

The teenager testified that he told a classmate about the relationship because he felt it was wrong. The classmate informed a teacher, which sparked the investigation leading to Nielsen's arrest.

christopher.goffard@latimes.com

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