2 women testify against man who allegedly kidnapped, sexually assaulted nanny from northeast Fresno

Two women took the stand on Thursday to testify against a man accused of kidnapping and sexually assaulting a northeast Fresno babysitter.

The women say they were also victims of Joseph Ward, just months before he allegedly assaulted a nanny at knifepoint.

Ward's trial started on Thursday.

The two exotic dancers testified that Ward rubbed oil and drugged them, which is exactly what prosecutors say he did to a nanny in July last year.

"There was a knife involved in this, and (the nanny) was holding a baby," said district attorney Rick Thomas.

Ward faces several charges, including kidnapping, first-degree robbery, and assault charges after prosecutors claim he followed a 24-year-old nanny to her employer's home in northeast Fresno, and sexually assaulted her at knifepoint.

Attorneys say at one point, he made his way inside the home. She tried to run, but he grabbed her as she was holding the 18-month-old child.

They say he then grabbed a bottle of oil from the kitchen and poured it on her.

They say he then performed sexual acts on her.

She and the child were able to escape after he took her to a nearby ATM to get cash, but she ran.

Doctors later found meth in her system, which attorneys say was likely from Ward.

Two exotic dancers painted a similar picture when they took the stand.

They said he asked to give them a massage and rubbed oil on their body.

Both say they later had to be taken to the hospital after they felt sick and were told they were drugged.

The defense argues that while the nanny may have been assaulted, Ward doesn't match the victim's description.

The trial will continue on Monday with testimony from police officers.
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