Mallo will stand trial for sex crimes

REED CITY — A former Evart resident will stand trial on five counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct stemming from crimes that allegedly took place in the early 1990s.

“I remember feeling I was going to suffocate from all his weight,” said the victim during the preliminary hearing of Francis Brent Mallo on Thursday in Osceola County’s 77th District Court.

Identifying Mallo, 49, of Loudon, Tenn., as the one who abused her, the victim testified in court about incidents she said occurred in the Evart area when she was 11 and 12 years old. At the time of the alleged sexual abuse, Mallo was a house parent at Pine View Home for children.

Each count of criminal sexual conduct listed the victim under the age of 13 — each charge carries a life sentence.

The Pioneer will not name victims of sexual abuse.

The victim recounted the incidents to Osceola County Prosecutor Tyler Thompson. She said they occurred at the home while she was babysitting Mallo’s children. She also recounted incidents at her home and at a location near Pine View Home.

Defense Attorney James Dimitriou, had the victim describe to the best of her knowledge what happened during each incident. Several times throughout her testimony Dimitriou would stop the witness and ask her for more detail about the incidents. Dimitriou also asked for descriptions about where Mallo was standing and how he was touching her.

“I am just trying to get in my mind a chronology of how this happened,” he said.

The victim was very emotional as she tried to recall each detail of the incidents. She often would stop to take a breath to keep her composure.

“The next thing I recall was every cell of my being ached,” the victim said describing one of the alleged incidents. “I remember lying on the bed crying, ... hoping the baby would not wake up.”

The victim was asked why she never came forward, saying that the first time she recounted any of the incidents verbally was in May this year.

“I was not strong enough to come froward and needed time to build my strength up,” she said.

Dimitriou asked if she was ever threatened. Quietly, she said she was afraid of what would happen.

“He told me if I told anyone my mom would be finished,” the victim said. “(He said) he would hurt my family and hurt his baby.”

District Court Judge Susan Grant, ruled there was enough evidence to bind the case over to Circuit Court on all five counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct.

“She did testify that this happened when she was 11,” Grant said. “I believe the elements have been established in these incidents.”

The time and date of Mallo’s next court appearance is yet to be scheduled.