The family of alleged child rapist Christina Regusters says she is sweet, caring and a lover of children, not an abuser.
Regusters' mother talked in private, outside of the courtroom, defending her 21-year-old daughter. She says the picture prosecutors have painted of Christina Regusters during her kidnapping and rape trial is wrong. The defendant’s mother, who has cried at times during testimony and often appears despondent, wishes to remain anonymous due to death threats she and family members have received.
“They have her [Christina] described that she’s some diabolical psycho person, you know that did this horrible thing. Granted our hearts are hurting too. We are upset the [victim] got hurt. We wouldn’t wish that on anyone,” the mother said.
“It’s equally agonizing because it’s my daughter that they are accusing of these crimes.”
Regusters’ mother says her daughter is innocent and describes her as a very caring and sweet person. It’s a stark contrast from what the prosecution has alleged.
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania says the former child care worker is a child rapist who acted alone, committing heinous crimes against a Cobbs Creek kindergartner last year.
Philadelphia Police say she kidnapped the 5-year-old from Bryant Elementary School on Jan. 14, 2013 just minutes after the girl finished breakfast with her classmates. She allegedly raped the girl with a sharp object inside a bedroom at 6243 Walton Avenue after blindfolding, stripping her naked and holding her captive for 19-hours under a bed. The child was dumped at a park early the next morning before daybreak, wearing only a t-shirt.
The child endured multiple surgeries, including a colostomy, because the injuries were so severe to her rectum.
“It’s been crazy. I’m hearing all this evidence that they have and I just don’t believe it. I don’t believe it. The person they are describing, that’s not my daughter,” the mother said.
“It’s painful to hear. It’s painful to watch. It’s just horrible.”
The family has had no contact with Regusters in the 19 months since she has been locked up, but her mother and sister Tasha have been present in court for the majority of the trial.
Last week, an 11-year-old relative took the stand accusing Regusters of having touched her inappropriately. The child’s mother testified that her daughter made the accusations beginning last month.
The defendant reacted to the accusatory testimony in court with an outburst.
“I never touched your child. She's lying,” yelled Regusters who was then admonished by Judge Jeffrey Minehart and instructed to be quiet.
Regusters’ mother and sister Tasha left the courtroom for the day in tears.
Tasha said she stands by her sister and is anxious for her to come home.
“My sister is a sweet person. Honestly, if you were in the trial, you would hear that she’s just this evil person that who woke up this morning and did this to the little girl. That’s not my sister," Tasha said. "I personally can tell that’s not her."
Contact Sarah Glover at 610-668-5580, firstname.lastname@example.org or follow @skyphoto on Twitter.