MAYS LANDING — Jurors in the Roderick Knox trial ended their first of deliberations without a verdict Thursday.
Suspended Atlantic City Fire Capt. Roderick Knox, is accused of sexually assaulting a teenage babysitter nearly 18 years ago.
The Egg Harbor Township man faces one count of sexual penetration against the then-13-year-old girl in 1995.
The case was reopened in 2010, when another teen made allegations against Knox. A jury acquitted him of those charges last year.
Jurors began deliberating Thursday afternoon, and later requested playback of the now-30-year-old woman's testimony given Monday. The trial has been videotaped.
The alleged victim — identified as S.W. — detailed several encounters with Knox, saying that there had been oral sex and digital penetration. They never had intercourse, she said.
The allegations first were brought up in 1997, by Michael Applewhite, who admitted to assaulting the girl as well. In his confession, Applewhite also told investigators the girl had said Knox — whom he knew — also molested her.
At that time, S.W. insisted Knox had just touched her over her clothes, and stopped when she told him she was uncomfortable.
She testified that she didn't tell the full story at the time because she saw the problems caused for Applewhite's family and didn't want to put the Knoxes through that as well.
But during closing arguments earlier Thursday, defense attorney Stephen Funk said S.W. gave six versions of what happened.
"It keeps getting more vivid and detailed," he said.
"When you're in the jury room, ask yourself whether you would, could or should make a big decision based on someone who was so flexible and casual with the truth as (S.W.)," Funk said.
Assistant Prosecutor John Flammer told jurors that the truth has not changed despite the years that have passed.
"She is not this girl any more," he said, holding up a blown-up photo of S.W.'s seventh-grade school photo. "She got up (on the stand) as a woman. ... She was no longer the scared girl she was in 1995."
Deliberations will continue Friday.
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