A Catholic deacon charged with sexual battery against a child made his first court appearance today.
During the preliminary hearing, prosecutors played a video showing Tom McConnell touching the 5-year-old girl in a restaurant
After watching the video three times and hearing from witnesses, Hamilton County Sessions Court Judge Ronald Durby decided there is enough probable cause to send the case to the grand jury
Back on March 4 at a North Shore restaurant, Tammye Cagle and her husband Ed Cagle were sitting one table away from McConnell and his group. She used her smart phone to shoot the video. Cagle believes it shows inappropriate contact on display for everyone in the restaurant to see.
But McConnell told police she misunderstood and that he was just expressing his love and affection for a child he knows well.
In his first interview with police, McConnell said, "This couple came forward making these horrible accusations and said they had video to prove it."
Then, the testimony started. Tammye Cagle told the court, "As he was rubbing up and down her leg, then he would rub her bottom, place his hand in the front between her legs and just continued to rub and touch her."
Cagle said that's what she saw and that's what she recorded on her smart phone. In this morning's hearing, she stuck to her account. "I do not know to what degree how wrong it is but I do know that he was touching her inappropriately."
The video shows McConnell repeatedly rubbing the girl's leg on the side and also placing his hand under the back of her dress.
This is shown in the second clip of video, his hand stays under her dress for 35 seconds before the little girl pushes his hand away.
At that point, Ed Cagle confronted McConnell in the restaurant.
He also saw a police officer in Rennaissance Park and went and reported what he and his wife had seen and captured on video.
After the video clip had been shown three times, the prosecution played McConnell's interview with police. He told officers, "I petted her, I tickled her back, I stroked her, I tried to tuck her shirttail in one time and I hugged her."
His attorney, Lee Davis, argued the video comes down to interpretation.
In the hearing, he asked Cagle, "Now, what I see is a fingertip straightening out a child's clothing at the end of that video. Is there something different? Is there something I'm missing that's on this video?"
She responded, "What I see on the video is him pulling his hand out of her tights after he was rubbing her bottom."
As the interview with police grew longer, McConnell was emphatic in his denial.
"But I can tell you this I did nothing wrong today and I have never done anything wrong with (identity of girl omitted) ever."
On that Sunday afternoon, Ed Cagle saw police in Renaissance Park and contacted them. He said he and his wife felt they saw wrong behavior and did the right thing.