CORRECTION: Due to an error in the original story, the audio has been removed and will be replaced. Mason is the girl’s step-father.

Testimony in the trial of a Ketchikan man accused of sexually assaulting his 14-year-old stepdaughter began today  in Ketchikan Superior Court.  Fifty-year-old David Mason is accused of four separate counts of sexual assault on a minor in a trial that is expected to last through Friday.

Some of the content of this report is of an explicit nature and may not be appropriate for younger audiences.

Jury selection ended Tuesday morning, with opening arguments beginning around one o’clock. The prosecution argues that David Mason sexually assaulted his 14-year-old step-daughter in four separate ways from one event that happened in March of 2014. The girl, who the prosecution noted as having learning disabilities, came to the bed of her mother and step-father at some point in the night, slipping between them. Something happened between the girl and Mason, then he left, came back, and at some point, woke the mother.

State Prosecutor Ben Hofmeister argues that Mason knew what he was doing and that he assaulted the girl.

“He did it because she was vulnerable and he had the opportunity and was in the position to do it.”


State Prosecutor Ben Hoffmeister Left) watches as defense attorney Marcelle McDannel right)_ makes her opening arguments. Here, McDannel is showing where the girl was originally sleeping on the couch, away from the bed.

Defense attorney Marcelle McDannel argues that Mason did not expect the girl to be in the bed that night. The girl regularly lives with her grandparents and was only visiting.  The defense argues that the girl hugged Mason from behind with her arm and leg, and that he believed she was his wife.

“So when he wakes up in the middle of the night because he feels something, his assumption is, of course, that’s my wife.”

McDannel says Mason left the bed for a minute. She says he returned to the bed and then discovered it was not his wife. The defense says he woke his wife who, being mistaken by the situation, kicked him off the bed.

The mother testified Tuesday that she woke to see her husband on top of the girl, but had differing stories of what she actually saw when first waking. She was only certain that Mason was “hovering” over her daughter, but had testified in a grand jury hearing that she had seen more.  Hofmeister asked her  about it in court.

“What I saw was horrible.”

“What did you see?”

“He was on top of my daughter”

“And when you say him, are you talking about Mr. Mason?”


The girl, now 16, also testified Tuesday, saying that though she has a hard time remembering the time-frame of when everything happened, she did remember him touching her in several inappropriate ways.

Testimony will continue Wednesday with the defense’s questions for the girl. The trial is expected to last into Friday.