Second woman accuses jailer

December 06, 2001 12:00 am

By Kent Gray

Triplicate staff writer

It was on a Del Norte County Jail work detail in May that ex-jailer James Weaver sexually assaulted an inmate.

That was the testimony yesterday of Kindra Richcreek, the second alleged victim in the trial of Weaver, a former correctional officer who worked in the county jail.

Weaver is accused of engaging in sex acts with one victim, Natalie Curington who testified earlier this week, and sexually battering Richcreek while both were inmates at the jail last spring.

Richcreek testified that while she was incarcerated, Weaver made several sexually explicit comments to her which she rebuffed. Weaver eventually selected her for a work detail, which is considered a privilege for inmates because its an opportunity to leave their cells.

It was during this work detail, Richcreek said, that Weaver grabbed her from behind, placed both his hands on her breasts and pulled himself against her back. Richcreek said she elbowed him to get him to let her go.

He said you know you want me, everybody does, all you females. I said No, youre wrong ... He was like, you cant do anything about this anyway, Richcreek said.

When defense attorney Edward Fishman pressed Richcreek for specifics about the incident, she replied, He grabbed me and thats all that matters.

Fishman then began aggressively questioning Richcreek about her earlier trouble with the law, but Richcreek shot back, I dont see how my background about being in trouble has anything to do with being fondled.

You are aware this is a serious sexual crime you are accusing him (Weaver) of? asked Fishman. Accusing? No, he did it, Richcreek responded.

Prosecution witness Andrew Long, a correctional officer at the jail, testified he was surprised to see Richcreek with Weaver on the work detail because she had been involved in an altercation earlier that day which caused a lockdown in the jail.

Considering she was a problem in the tank, I thought it was kind of unusual, Long said.

Fishman spent most of the rest of the day calling witnesses to the stand to discredit Richcreek.

Richcreeks sister-in-law, Tammy Nastiuk, characterized Richcreek as a liar, saying she stole her purse once and accused Richcreek of hurting her own daughter.

I cant trust her. I cant believe anything she tells me, Nastiuk said.

But District Attorney Robert Drossel pointed out Nastiuk and Richcreek are involved in a custody battle for Richcreeks children and intimated thats the reason the two have such a bad relationship.

Other witnesses called by the defense also questioned Richcreeks character, but no witnesses actually disputed the events she described with Weaver in jail.

The last defense witness was Jennifer Weaver, the defendants wife.

She disputed earlier testimony from Curington, who claimed Weaver had a zipper fly on his pants. Curington made that comment in testimony earlier this week when she described how she was forced to give Weaver oral sex while an inmate at the jail.

In response to Fishmans questions, Jennifer Weaver said all her husbands uniforms were button flies.

The trial resumes at 8 a.m. this morning and is expected to wrap up tomorrow.