Former fire chief takes stand in own defense | News
Tampa, Florida - The former fire chief of Clearwater took the stand at his trial Thursday, to defend himself against charges of sexual abuse.
Jaime Geer is charged with lewd and lascivious battery and unlawful sex with a minor. He's accused of sexually abusing a young girl for years.
Local criminal defense attorney, Mark Rankin, said in a case like this, Geer really didn't have much of a choice.
"It's almost one of those cases where he has to testify. He has to get on the stand and look the jurors in the eye and say, I didn't do it," said Rankin.
In a calm but firm voice, Geer denied on the stand ever touching the girl inappropriately or engaging in any sexual acts with her. He claimed the accusations are nothing but a scam, involving disgruntled firefighters, the mother of the girl, and the girl herself - now 19 years old.
Rankin said, in a case like this, it'll come down to whoever appears more credible on the stand.
"The jurors are going to be thinking, if I was accused of touching a little girl, and I didn't do it, I would be angry. I would very adamantly deny it," said the attorney.
If convicted, Geer could get life in prison. The trial continues Friday with closing arguments expected.