Fresno attorney on trial for child sex crimes reported rape two months after arrest

Prosecutors say Jennifer Walters could face as long as 24 years in prison if she's convicted on all counts.

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Wednesday, September 28, 2022
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The Fresno child dependency attorney on trial for sex crimes with a teenage boy says the real criminal is the boy.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The Fresno child dependency attorney on trial for sex crimes with a teenage boy says the real criminal is the boy.

A couple months after police arrested Jennifer Walters in August 2019, she reported the boy sexually assaulted her.

Prosecutors are using her own words to challenge that defense.

The messages on Snapchat would normally have disappeared, but with help from police, the boy saved them and now Walters is trying to explain them.

Walters flew back to the United States from Italy in August 2019 and found herself under arrest at LAX.

Police said she had sexual relations with a boy for four years, starting when he was 13.

In October - after pleading not guilty in court and getting some evidence in the case - Walters told police the boy had sexually assaulted her just before her trip.

She testified Tuesday that she never meant to report it.

"My plan was to get home from Italy, have a very brief discussion with (the boy) to tell him to leave me and my family alone, and I wouldn't tell anybody what happened so we wouldn't blow our whole entire families up," Walters said.

Prosecutors argue Snapchat messages between Walters and the boy during her trip tell a different story.

For example, at one point, she signed off with "love you" and insisted the boy say it back.

"While you're in Italy, clear across the world, you want to make sure that your "rapist" tells you that he loves you, too?" prosecutor Kaitlin Drake asked.

"Yes," Walters replied.

Walters admitted bought the boy a cross necklace while she was at The Vatican during her trip, which she intended to give the boy as a surprise after she returned.

In Snapchat messages, she did talk to the boy about his brief relationship with a girl about his own age, and about whether Walters and the boy were getting back together.

"You tell him 'I'm willing to try. Don't make me regret it or I probably won't be able to forgive you. I think you were having fun with it too,'" Drake pointed out.

"I'm telling him that I'm willing to work on us not being enemies at that point because I didn't want him to think I was acting abnormal," Walters said.

Prosecutors say Walters could face as long as 24 years in prison if she's convicted on all counts.