Defense lawyer wants prosecutors thrown off sex abuse case

As prosecutors continue to negotiate with two women charged with participating in videotaped sexual attacks on several children in Las Vegas, a defense lawyer said Tuesday that she’s still trying to get the Clark County District Attorney’s removed from the case.

Christopher Sena along with his wife, Deborah Sena, and ex-wife, Terrie Sena, face sexual assault charges involving at least eight children over the span of 13 years.

Defense attorney Kristina Wildeveld called Deborah Sena a “severely battered woman” and a victim of her husband, and Wildeveld believes prosecutors have acted improperly in pursuing charges against her client.

She wrote that prosecutors have tried to “intimidate/scare witnesses,” made “verifiably false statements” and met with child victims who should have had legal representation.

Wildeveld said that both Deborah Sena, Terrie Sena and at least one of the children tried to reach out to authorities about abuse at the hands of Christopher Sena several times.

After he learned about attempts to contact Child Protective Services, the children received “huge beatings,” according to Wildeveld.

At one point, Deborah Sena applied for a temporary restraining order against her husband, but it was denied, according to her attorney.

With at least six surveillance cameras scattered throughout the home, Deborah Sena snuck out with two others, fleeing to a shelter, Wildeveld said, and Christopher Sena continued to threaten them.

Deborah Sena then told a family law attorney about the abuse. That attorney contacted police, who arrested Christopher Sena in September and seized recording equipment from the home.

Images and videos depicting the adults engaged in sex acts with children were also found, leading to the arrests of Deborah Sena and Terrie Sena last month, according to police.

Wildeveld said that Christopher Sena forced his wife into the sex acts with the children and threatened her with physical violence.

Prosecutors disagreed, saying Deborah Sena was “not a victim, she is a perpetrator.”

“There is no evidence of force/coercion in video,” prosecutors wrote in court documents. “At most, there is direction by Christopher Sena, much like a movie director might direct the actors.”

In 2008, Wildeveld said, Christopher Sena threatened his wife, grabbing a shovel and taking her to an isolated part of the desert.

“He threatened how easy it would be to kill her and dispose of the body if she were to ever disclose to police anything that he had done or had Mrs. Sena do,” Wildeveld wrote.

On Tuesday, Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Melissa Saragosa said she could rule next week on Wildeveld’s request to have Clark County prosecutors disqualified from the case. Prosecutors wrote, however, that “the Justice Court has no jurisdiction to entertain such a motion.”

Contact reporter David Ferrara at dferrara@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-1039. Find him on Twitter: @randompoker

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