Gripping testimony at trial against man accused of trafficking women

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by Sandra Torres

MILWAUKEE-- Testimony in the trial of a Milwaukee man accused of selling local teens and women into prostitution has been gripping and at times, contradictory.

Three witnesses took the stand on Friday, but it wasn't until the third witness began testifying that things got complicated in court.

45-year-old Roy Weatherall is already facing child trafficking charges, as well as charges for trying to intimidate witnesses to not testify against him. On Friday, Judge Timothy Dugan had to ask for a short recess after the witness was having trouble testifying. It appears staff saw Weatherall make a hand gesture to the witness, as if asking the witness to cut it out.

The witness is a 22-year-old woman who claims to have watched as Weatherall beat a girl he recruited to prostitute.

The woman was having trouble testifying, was soft spoken, and at times, looked down istead of answering questions from Assistant District Attorney Sara Lewis. However, after Judge Dugan spoke with Weatherall on the record about his innapropriate behavior in court, the witness took the stand again and shared details about the beating.

The woman told the jury that she watched as the other girl, known as SD, was brutally beat by Weatherall in the basement of his home. The woman said Weatherall used a white pole and anything he could find around him to beat the girl. Police reports indicate during that altercation, Weatherall broke the girls arm.

Trial will resume on Monday morning.

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