Most of the witnesses called up Friday by Assemblyman Dr. Joaquin Arambula’s defense team personally know the legislator personally — including someone who might know him best, his father.
In total, five witnesses gave their testimonies on the defense’s first day to present their case in Arambula’s misdemeanor child abuse trial. They were Arambula’s brother-in-law, family friend who also babysits his children, the godfather of his 7-year-old daughter, and his father, Juan Arambula.
The principal of the school Joaquin Arambula’s children attend also testified about the school’s mandated reporter responsibilities and interactions with responding officers.
During the babysitter’s testimony, she described a time when the 7-year-old argued with her about turning off the t.v.
“I’m with the youngest [sister], we’re doing bedtime with the giraffes and books,” she said. “[The 7-year-old’s] response, because she was still upset [about having to turn off the t.v.], was to come in with a book and be hitting herself on the head.”
With the exception of the principal, each witness described Joaquin Arambula as a caring father who would never inappropriately discipline his children.
“I would never lie in this chair here, ever,” said his brother-in-law. “I’m not protecting him. I’m telling the truth. He would never hit his child.”
Juan Arambula was the last witness called to the stand Friday. He said his eldest granddaughter has a tendency to be “theatrical” and that she doesn’t accept limits.
He had nothing but compliments for his son’s methods of discipline.
“[My son’s] very patient with all of his children,” Juan Arambula said. “He likes to talk with them a great deal. He, if anything, is too lenient in my view.”
Joaquin Arambula’s defense team will continue with their witnesses’ testimony Monday morning. Joaquin Arambula himself is expected to take the stand sometime next week.