PHOENIX - A Mesa man accused of sexually assaulting two young women he hired to babysit his children is testifying in court.
Dion Earl was arrested by Mesa Police in October 2017, accused of sexually abusing and assaulting an 18-year-old and a 21-year-old woman. Police say Earl had hired the women to babysit his children.
Earl is a former owner of a professional indoor soccer team in the Northeast and has lived in both Mesa and the State of Washington for a time. Several women testified earlier in the trial, describing unwanted sexual encounters with Earl.
"Did you give her a massage?" asked a lawyer. "I gave her a little. Just on her back, that's it."
Earl, testifying in his defense, described incidents of massages he's given and received from women who are now accusing him of sexual misconduct.
"She ended up giving me a massage that night. It was nothing," said Earl.
Two dancers associated with Earl's soccer franchise testified about incidents in which they claim Earl touched them and acted inappropriately. One woman claimed Earl fondled her at a strip club.
"I just wanted her to have a good time, that's all," said Earl.
"Did you guys make it to the VIP Room?" asked a lawyer.
"I could care less, I was married to a former dancer. I'll say that," said Earl.
A former long-time nanny testified about massages and sexual touching as she watched his kids.
Earl began testifying in court on Monday, and the testimony continued on Tuesday, where he answered questions about the specific incidents that led two different babysitters to file charges against him.
Earl said he thinks he knows why.
"Cheek to cheek, and then it just happened. She -- not completely -- but got on top of me, and we kissed and it was not a peck," said Earl on Tuesday.
On Tuesday, Earl described the incident with one of the two babysitters who are now accusing him of sexual assault.
"You never told your babysitter that this was wrong, it needs to stop? Yes or no question. Yes or no," asked a lawyer.
"No," Earl replied. "Whether I would've said 'hey, we need to stop', it was too late. She already kissed me."
Earl testified that another incident with a different sitter was consensual, and they both agreed to give each other massages. The victims, however, say Earl was the aggressor, having allegedly lured them into a room in his Mesa house, kept them from leaving, and were subject to unwanted sexual touching. The father of one victim claims Earl is lying under oath.
"With predators, this is what they do. They try to become the victim," said the father "What employers asks babysitters and 18-year-olds and young women for a massage after their first initial meet?"
In addition to the babysitters, three other women testified, each saying they were also victims of Earl's non-consensual sexual advances.
"All these women coming to court testifying against you, and they're all lying?" asked a lawyer.
"Uh, yeah," Earl replied. "I have no motivation other than to tell the truth."
Earl is facing several felony charges, including rape, kidnapping, and molestation. On Wednesday, attorneys will present closing arguments, and the jury could begin deliberations as early as Wednesday afternoon.