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UPDATE: Prosecutor Calls Monrovia Man 'Practiced Manipulator' in School Rape Case

A prosecutor began her closing arguments Tuesday in the trial of Wade Bughman, a Monrovia man accused of sexually abusing and molesting students while he taught at a Duarte elementary school.

A prosecutor called a Monrovia man a "practiced manipulator" during her closing remarks Tuesday in a trial that will determine whether the former Duarte teacher is guilty of raping and molesting his students.

Deputy District Attorney Debra Archuleta began her closing arguments Tuesday morning and painted Wade Bughman, a former teacher at Beardleee Elementary School, as a pedophile who actively sought young girls to abuse because they could not become pregnant.

"Wade Bughman, ladies and gentlemen, is a practiced manipulator who carefully chose his victims," Archuleta told a jury of six men and six women Tuesday.

Bughman is charged with 9 total sexual abuse counts including rape, lewd conduct with a child, digital penetration of a minor and forced oral copulation for allegedly assaulting five different students at Beardlee from 1997 to 2010.

Archuleta said Bughman chose his victims carefully based on whether they had begun their menstruation cycle. He raped the younger girls and limited his abuse to touching and molesting with teenage girls, she said.

Some of the five girls Bughman is accused of abusing stayed silent for more than a decade because they were afraid that their family and friends wouldn't believe them, Archuleta said.

"They were all worried that their parents wouldn't believe them," Archuleta said.

Archuleta said that Bughman's two defense attorneys sought to characterize the girls as untrustworthy when presenting their case. They subjected the girls to "brutal cross-examination" in an effort to discredit them, she said.

"Are these children liars, ladies and gentlemen?," Archuleta asked. "Or are they heroes?"

Archuleta said the sexual assaults allegedly perpetrated by Bughman were not seen by witnesses because he attacked the girls behind a bookcase in his classroom.

"The acts that the defendant perpetrated...were all after school, at recess or at lunch," she said.

Bughman was arrested in June 2010 after several students came forward and accused him of abuse. He was placed on leave in April 2010 by the Duarte Unifed School District after administrators were alerted to the alleged abuse by a response in a school survey.

"Our teacher is touching us," was written by a student in the survey, according to Archuleta.

Archuleta's closing argument will continue at 9:45 a.m. Wednesday. The defense will then deliver its own final remarks.

Jon November 28, 2012 at 06:20 PM
Tina...obviousy you don'd know what a sexual predator is or what he is thinking, coming from someone who's daughter was manipulated and raped for more than 2 years..I"m sadden that he has manipulated you too..children are tought to be scared, to hush up, to not say a word otherwise people they love will get hurt..children block themselves from the actual sexual encounter..so if at that presise moment they don't speek up it's called manipulation and things do come out more when they are free from preadators
Robert Parry November 28, 2012 at 07:53 PM
Pray for the jurors as they seek to determine which of two terrible potentials (rape by a teacher or a false accusation by students) is the truth.
ANNONYM. November 28, 2012 at 10:51 PM
I guess you are not well informed Karen. Everything started when a CURRENT student of Mr Bughman at the time accused him back in 2010. What if it were one of your family members that was molested. Would you have the same opinion? This teacher was involved in after school activities. (camp, student body) I know I was a student there in the 90's. Most pedophiles threaten or scare children so they will not say anything. Some 2nd grade students really? WOW
MARY KAY GOLDSMITH November 29, 2012 at 03:08 AM
Tina I worked with wade at beardslee I ate lunch with him everyday for 10 months and one day at lunch he said I remmeber your daughter. When I went home that day I told my daughter do you remmeber Mr. Baughman and she said in return you mean that pervert, and reminded me of the time I had to go down to the school and talk to them about a Mr. Baughman rubbing my daughters back up under her shirt and that her friends where teasing her saying Mr. Baughman was her boyfriend. If I knew then what I have learned now from the detectives maybe I could have stopped several girls from being raped. But at the time I thought my daughter was mistaken about what had happened. She was considered a person who was being groomed. So I was very shocked but the children are not lying. It is very sad for everyone involved. But he did it. MKG
annonymous November 30, 2012 at 05:48 PM
well...i attended that school back in the 90's and was very close with Mr Bughman and his family, he was never my teacher but i was involved in the Student Council that he managed, he NEVER did anything to me but he was very touchy feelie with others, ie: putting his hands on their shoulders and so on... I was saddened to hear this news because for years i would go back and visit the school and him because he was one of my favorite teachers. I noticed that the news article stated he prayed on timid latino girls...well i am not timid at all. I am now in my late 20's and my mom still asked me if he ever did anything to me. i hope and pray the best for his wife and children and hope that the justice system takes care of this situation.

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