Alleged victim testifies in case against 2 Border Patrol agents - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

Alleged victim testifies in case against 2 Border Patrol agents

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VISTA (CNS) - A judge Thursday ordered two Border Patrol agents to stay away from a Navy doctor who complained when she saw the couple groping each other during a performance of Cirque du Soleil in Del Mar.

Gerald Joseph Torello, 35, and Kallie Lamb Helwig, 25 -- who were off duty at the time -- face misdemeanor charges of battery, annoying or molesting a child, and two counts of performing lewd acts in public. Torello is also charged with making a criminal threat.

A witness to the May 27 incident, Navy psychiatrist Chai Wu, testified during a bail review for the defendants on Wednesday that Torello gave a nearby child a high-five as he continued his sexual intimacy with Helwig.

Wu also testified that she feared for her safety because Helwig attacked her after she drew attention to the couple.

According to court documents, Wu and others were at a matinee performance of Cirque du Soleil when the defendants sat down next to Wu's husband, Navy officer Devlin McNeil.

Helwig and Torello began "kissing, fondling and groping" each other, causing them to bump into McNeil as he tried to watch the show, according to prosecutors.

McNeil and Wu repeatedly asked the defendants to stop the behavior, and Torello responded by saying, "Talk to her (Helwig) like that again and I will kill you," court documents allege.

At the end of the show, Helwig and Torello allegedly confronted Wu and her group near an exit.

The victim's group heard Torello say to Helwig, "I know you're a tough girl. You can take her. Don't chicken out," according to the prosecution.

Prosecutors allege Helwig punched Wu in the eye and jaw and Torello grabbed the victim by the arms.

Judge Daniel Goldstein allowed the defendants to remain free on their own recognizance and scheduled a status conference for Sept. 14. Trial was set for Nov. 1.

The defendants remain on administrative leave from the Border Patrol while their case is pending.

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