One of the boys that former WPTV Weatherman Rob Lopicola is accused of having sex with, took the stand yesterday for 3 hours and talked about his relationship with the Weatherman.
The accuser, now attending a post-high school program in Georgia, testified fabout the sexual encounter and the graphic texts.
"I was just really lonely," he said of the "sexting," and his earlier decision as an openly gay teenager to seek older companions through the "males seeking males" section of Craigslist.
But the defense attacked the fresh-faced accuser as a liar who used the texts to entrap Lopicola with a "To Catch a Predator"-style investigation modeled after the NBC program, and later deleted all texts he sent to Lopicola.
"He decided to set up Robert Lopicola," Assistant Public Defender Kristy Militello told the jury during her opening statement, noting a lack of physical evidence and witnesses implicating her client to the oral sex allegedly performed on the accuser.
Wearing a dark suit and stylish haircut, Lopicola, 43, watched though silver-framed glasses as the teenager, now 18, often punctuated his testimony with nervous laughter. But the witness also cried while describing his decision to call police in Michigan, where he lived in March 2011.
"I wanted to report it because I knew it was the right thing," the alleged victim said under cross examination. "What he did was wrong and he knows that."
Lopicola is charged with lewd or lascivious battery, lewd or lascivious conduct, and computer pornography and child exploitation. He faces up to 35 years in prison if convicted on all three felonies.
"There's no question this defendant is guilty of every single thing he is charged with," Assistant State Attorney Michael Kugler told the jury.
The trial continues Today.
H/T Sun Sentinel