Following Thursday’s conviction of Norman Lee Olson II for continuous sexual abuse of a child under 14, jurors listened intently as a 28 year-old woman told of sexual abuse at the hands of the defendant that spanned 10 years.
Olson, 51, of Petrolia, was found guilty at about 2:30 p.m. for the sexual assault of a 12-year-old girl over a period of 14 months, beginning in October 2011. The jury of nine women and three men will deliberate Olson’s sentence on Friday.
The 28-year-old woman gave testimony during the sentencing phase of the trial Thursday afternoon. She was called by the prosecutor to show Olson had committed sexual assault against another person before abusing the victim in the case at hand.
The woman said Olson sexually assaulted her while he and her mother were in a relationship from the time she was 5-years-old until she was 15. The abuse ended in 2001 when the victim called police. The case, investigated by the Clay County Sheriff’s Office, was never presented to the district attorney and any physical evidence has since been destroyed.
The victim gave an example of the assaults between the ages of 5 and 10, and between the ages of 10 and 15. She stated that early on, he would rape her as punishment, but after she turned 10, he would offer her things in return.
“From 5 to 10, it was like, ‘You have to do this,” said the witness. “From 10-15, it was more, ‘I’ll give you this if you’ll do this.”
She said Olson plied her with alcohol, cigarettes and shopping trips to the mall. Olson gave the 12-year-old girl which he was convicted of assaulting chocolate candy and treats.
The woman said that she and her mother attended counseling at Patsy’s House Child Advocacy Center for two years after the assaults ended. “It’s very hard to let go of things that you have held in for so long.”
Defense attorney Marty Cannedy noted that after calling the the sheriff’s office and reporting the sexual assaults, she twice denied any abuse to investigators. The woman said she had done so because the investigators were men, and because Olson had threatened harm or kill her and her mother if she told.
“Fear is a strong emotion,” she replied.