PITTSFIELD — George Shurtleff took the trust of a teenage girl he'd known since she was young and turned it into a "broken heart," and "betrayal," prosecutors allege, by sexually assaulting her over the course of two years.
Shurtleff's attorney, Nathaniel K. Green, said much of the evidence in the case is disputed and suggested the girl may have had other motivations for making the accusations.
"The main thing have to decide is whether the allegations of sexual assault are credible, are believable," Green told the jury in his opening statement.
Shurtleff, 54, of Adams has pleaded not guilty to charges of rape and abuse of a child aggravated by an age difference, three counts of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14 and two counts of indecent assault and battery on a person 14 or older.
Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Rachael Eramo said the abuse of the victim began in February 2011 when the girl was 13 and continued "month after month," until November 2013.
Eramo said Shurtleff made a quid-pro-quo type of arrangement with the child in which he'd allow privileges in exchange for sexual favors.
In her opening statement Thursday in Berkshire Superior Court, Eramo said Shurtleff made one of those arrangements when the child accompanied him on a trip.
Eramo said the young woman had asked about Shurtleff about getting a puppy and was told she could "earn points," toward it by performing sex acts on him and exposing herself to him.
Green said the fact that trip took place is not in dispute.
"What is in dispute in this case, is what exactly happened on that trip," he said.
Green told the jury, Comprised of eight women and six men — 12 who will ultimately deliberate the case and a pair of alternates — if they carefully consider all of the evidence they will find his client not guilty of the charges against him, "because these allegations are not true."
The trial continues on Friday.