Warning: This story contains graphic descriptions of the sexual abuse of a child.
The first of former Correctional Officer Cory Jordan Fisher’s six
alleged victims took the witness stand Thursday to describe the
sexual and physical abuse he endured from grade school until shortly
before he escaped by enlisting in the Army at age 17.
John Doe One, now a 23-year-old soldier, said the assaults began with “at least bi-weekly” incidents of being forced to masturbate or orally copulate Fisher. He also testified Fisher attempted to sodomize him as they lay in his bunk bed, and on one occasion he was forced to sodomize Fisher.
Under questioning by Deputy District Attorney Stacey Eads, Doe One
said the first incident occurred as he lay in his bunk bed, with his
younger brother above him in the top bunk. Fisher was tucking the two
of them into bed. Doe One was in fourth or fifth grade at the time.
“He pulled his pants down and exposed his penis and testicles,”
Doe One said. “… He was stroking his penis. He grabbed my hand
and placed it on his penis. Then he let go and told me to do it.”
Asked how he felt at the time, Doe One said the feeling is hard to
describe. He said he felt threatened, as though he was in a “hostile
Eads asked what happened after that incident, and Doe One said he
remembers “ a lot more of the same.”
“And it slowly graduated into the defendant wanting me to put my
mouth on his penis.”
Later, Doe One said, the abuse changed to Fisher forcibly
masturbating and orally copulating him. He would be told he could go
to the mall or a movie or to hang out with friends, but first he had
to allow Fisher to assault him.
Once, the two of them went camping at Big Lagoon, Doe One recalled. Fisher gave him whiskey and made him believe he knew about something Doe One had done wrong. Doe One eventually admitted he had smoked marijuana. He was drunk and emotional and began to cry. He said Fisher told him he was glad he admitted what he did, and then said “Your mother doesn’t have to know about this” as long as Doe engaged in oral copulation.
On another occasion, the two of them were in a hot tub together, Doe One said. Fisher removed his own swimming trunks and Doe One’s trunks, then told him if he didn’t do something “I was going to be in a world of hurt.”
“He forced me to sodomize him.”
The abuse continued as he grew older, but became less frequent, Doe One testified. He said each and every encounter was “against my will.”
Doe One also described multiple incidents of physical abuse. He said Fisher would squeeze his hand until if felt crushed. He would stomp on his toes, or crush the breath out of him by lying on top of him. Once, Doe One said, Fisher grabbed him by the shirt and threw him against the wall. Then Fisher “punched holes in the dry wall around my head.”
One day Fisher and Doe One were in a uniform store, he said, and the cashier showed them a Taser that had been returned because it didn’t work. Fisher demonstrated that it did work by tasing Doe One “in the middle of the store.”
He enlisted in the Army at age 17 because “I saw it as my only way out.” Before he left, Doe One testified, he told Fisher that if he ever learned he had molested his brothers or anyone else, “I would take his life.”
Doe One got married, with his wife being the first person he ever told about the sexual abuse. The second person was an Army chaplain in Afghanistan, where Doe One was stationed in a combat zone. He said the chaplain advised him to go to authorities to protect others from Fisher. While in Afghanistan, Doe One spoke with his mother and younger brother by phone.
He said it was then he learned his brother also had been molested,
and he told his brother about his own abuse.
“Both of us were just devastated for each other,” Doe One
His mother asked him to write a declaration about what had happened
to him, which he did. Eads asked how he felt when writing the
“Extremely nervous,” he said, adding he doesn’t want people to
look down on him because of what he endured.
“I don’t want pity,” Doe One said. “I don’t want (people)
to think I’m less of a man for what I’ve been through.”
Under cross examination by Deputy Conflict Counsel David Lee, representing Fisher, Doe One said Fisher wasn’t always angry and abusive but could become so “at the flip of a light switch.”
Lee questioned Doe One about what his mother knew about the abuse, and he defended her as being depressed and under a lot of stress. He said she wasn’t around when any of the sexual assaults occurred and only saw a few episodes of physical abuse.
Once when Fisher punched him in the face, Doe One recalled, his mother was ready to get a restraining order. But Fisher always managed, “somehow, some way,” to convince her and other people the incidents weren’t his fault and wouldn’t happen again.
Lee asked why he had never told his mother about his suffering, and Doe One said Fisher had convinced him she wouldn’t believe him.
“Even if I would have told her,” he said, “the repercussions from the defendant would have been severe.”
Under questioning by Lee, Doe One recounted an episode in which Fisher had him cornered in a bathroom when he was about 16. He yelled at Fisher to get out, then punched him repeatedly in the face and chest. He said Fisher was left unconscious.
Asked why he hadn’t responded that way during other episodes of sexual assault or attempted sexual assault, Doe One said that’s “really hard to describe.”
He said Fisher often plied him with alcohol or prescription drugs, “and I physically wasn’t really able to deny him the opportunity.”
Lee also wondered why Doe One’s brother, John Doe Two, told police he never told Doe One about the abuse.
“Your brother denied being molested for days and weeks,” Lee said.
But Doe One stuck with his story.
“I was told by him,” he said. “However it is his business to pursue.”
Fisher, 31, faces life in prison if convicted of all charges. He is accused of molesting three children, including Does One and Two, and also of sexually assaulting three inmates while he worked as a correctional officer at the jail. In his opening statement Thursday, Lee suggested the inmates concocted their stories after hearing Fisher had been charged with child molestation. One inmate in particular had been scheming to get money out of the county, Lee said, and eventually was paid $200,000 for the alleged assault by Fisher.
Fisher, sitting next to Lee at the counsel table, wore a blue dress shirt and a striped tie. He listened intently to the testimony, sometimes leaning forward. Occasionally he shook his head, as if in disbelief.
Testimony was expected to continue this morning before Judge Timothy Canning. The jury consists of nine men, three women and four male alternates.
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