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Testimony resumes in trial of De Pere man charged with child sex crimes

Sanjaya Senanayake faces felony charges, including sexual assault of a child going back a decade
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Posted at 6:35 PM, May 14, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-14 19:35:02-04

GREEN BAY (NBC26) — Testimony resumed on Tuesday in the trial of a De Pere man charged with child sex crimes.

  • Sanjaya Senanayake, 57, is charged with multiple felonies including child sexual assault
  • A number of witnesses took the stand, including the accuser
  • State, defense argued over use of interview with accuser in 2019

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story.)

Sanjaya Senanayake faces multiple charges including repeated sexual assault of the same child.

Investigators say the abuse started a decade ago when the girl was around nine years old.

In court Tuesday, the state and defense argued over the use of an interview the accuser had with investigators in 2019.

"It's admissible because its the best evidence as to what she said and how she said it at that time," said the defense.

The defense pushing for the video to be played in moments when the girl appeared hesitant to answer, even suggesting the abuse may have been a dream.

Five minutes of the video was eventually played for the jury.

Senanayake's accuser is now 19 years old. She took the stand again on Tuesday.

We were asked to not record video or audio.

The accuser recounted abuse such as being hit with beer bottles and feeling reluctant to seek medical attention.

Court documents also show abuse included drugging the girl, using a shock collar on her and using nail clippers on her skin.

Investigators say the girl claims she was sexually assaulted multiple times.

The therapist who conducted the video interview and a separate mental health therapist also testified on Tuesday.

Court will resume on Wednesday morning as the trial enters day three.