CA woman convicted of having sexual relationship with young boy gets sentencing delay
Defense attorneys for a Vacaville woman facing a lifetime prison sentence upon being convicted of having a sexual relationship with a young family member will argue for a new trial.
Michelle V. Souza appeared for sentencing Monday in Solano County Superior Court where her court-appointed defense counsel asked for additional time to file some post-trial motions. Souza was convicted by a jury in January of having sexual intercourse with a child 10 or younger and one count of continuous sexual abuse of a child.
An undisclosed issue concerning a juror in the case had arisen, according to courtroom discussions. Defense attorneys sought more time to investigate the issue and prepare a motion for a new trial.
According to testimony at her trial, Souza began having a sexual relationship with a 10-year-old family member in 2014.
The victim testified for the jury how Souza would direct him on what to do, after summoning him to her bedroom.
After having sex with the child, she would tell him "good job," and instruct him not to tell anyone, according to testimony.
Souza, who testified in her own defense, tearfully denied the allegations.
The sexual abuse continued after Souza moved into a Raven Drive home, where she eventually began a dating relationship with co-defendant Ricky A. Groseclose.
It was during this time Groseclose began to exchange cellular telephone text messages with the victim, according to testimony. Under the watchful eye of Souza, the victim would send a text message to Groseclose when the alleged sexual acts took place.
Groseclose would encourage the activity to continue, the victim testified.
Souza did not deny the claim that she engaged in inappropriate touching with the victim after moving in with Groseclose.
Under further questioning, she added that the touching was not sexual in nature when directed to do so by Groseclose.
Souza told jurors that Groseclose told her to let the boy touch her and made repeated threats toward her and her family.
Groseclose has been charged with five counts of lewd acts on a minor under 14.
Prosecutors have charged Groseclose under an aiding and abetting theory as he is alleged to have already had knowledge of the sexual abuse and encouraged it to continue through the text messages to the victim.
During a recent court appearance, defense attorneys for Groseclose indicated they were considering a plea agreement.
Groseclose is expected back in court March 16 for the setting of a trial date. He has pleaded not guilty and remains free upon posting $180,000 bail