The soft-spoken brother of a girl, kidnapped from her Philadelphia school and then brutally sexually assaulted her last year, kicked off the second day of a trial against her alleged rapist: Christina Regusters.
He was one of three family and friends who took the stand Tuesday morning.
The boy, 9-years-old and dressed in a white shirt, was asked to identify his sister in surveillance video from Bryant Elementary School on the day she was kidnapped last year.
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“That’s my little sister. That’s me next to her,” the boy said from the stand while watching the video. NBC10.com is not naming the boy because it would identify the victim.
The video was recorded on the morning of January 14, 2013. Hours later, the young girl was led from the school by a woman dressed in traditional Muslim clothing. Prosecutors say that woman was Regusters.
By the end of the school day, the boy told prosecutor Jessalyn Gillum he was asked where his younger sister was, but he didn't know.
The DA's Office says the girl was placed in a laundry bag and brought to a home along the 6200 block of Walton Avenue. It was there, while blindfolded, she was put under a bed and raped with a sharp object over a 19 hour period, according to officials. She was dumped, like trash, in a Delaware County playground severely injured and wearing only an oversized T-shirt.
An older sister of the victim also took the stand and described the family’s close bond. She regularly picked up her young siblings from after school daycare.
"I love my siblings to death. We are close," she said.
Prosecutors then turned to the young girl's regular babysitter, Tiffany Banks, who regularly picked up and dropped off the victim from the school.
“She’s amazing. Very smart, very resilient, bubbly, bright and wonderful. I can’t say enough positive things about her, very smart,” said Banks, who is the girlfiend of the girl's uncle.
It was Banks who was first sought after the day the girl went missing as an Amber Alert was issued. Police originally thought she may have taken the child.
"My name was caught up in it," Banks said.
After the child’s mother called to check in with Banks, it became clear she was not involved. Banks described the family’s frenzy as they called around to try and find out who had taken the girl.
Banks testified the child’s mother was “hysterical” outside the elementary school as police processed the girl's last known location.
“It was surreal, like an out-of-body experience,” said Banks.
Regusters says she's not responsible for the crime. She and the victim are also expected to testify this week.