Keith Jones

KINGMAN – Attorney’s agree that there are no videos, eye witnesses or physical evidence to present, and that credibility assessments will prove key in what they call a “he-sad/she-said” sex offense trial that began Monday at the Law and Justice Center in Kingman.

Keith Jones, 22, is charged with five counts each of sexual assault and sexual conduct with a minor for allegedly forcing himself upon an underage female teenager on multiple occasions at three Kingman homes over a two-year period ending on Dec. 31, 2022.

Prosecutor Leah Nelson said the families of the victim and defendant have been closely intertwined tracing back to Alabama almost a decade ago. She told the jury that the relationships between the families continued as various members of each moved to the Kingman area.

Nelson said the victim first remembers awaking one warm weather night to Jones groping her underneath her bra before he allegedly sexually assaulted her. She said the victim also has good recall of a similar scenario that occurred during a Thanksgiving holiday.

Nelson told the jury that the victim said the activity was uninvited and unwelcome, and that she told Jones “no,” but she froze in fear and didn’t call out for help or report the incident until she informed her mother through delayed reporting.

Defense attorney Paul Amann told the jury that the victim’s stories have been conflicting and unsteady. He urged the panel to measure her credibility in considering inconsistent ages, dates and locations she’s provided in detailing her alleged abuse.

“The times are all over the place,” Amann said. “The truth doesn’t change. It doesn’t fluctuate.”

Attorneys indicated the short trial is expected to conclude Tuesday or Wednesday, after The Standard print deadline.

Dave Hawkins