WILKES-BARRE – The conditions inside Carol Hann and Robert Caravella's Plymouth home in August 2010 were deplorable, an assistant district attorney told a jury Wednesday.
And, the condition in which police and a county Children & Youth worker found a young boy inside the home are equally overwhelming, witnesses testified.
Hann, 45, and Caravella, 53, of Gould Street, are standing trial on several related charges each in which prosecutors say the couple sexually abused and neglected the young boy, now 14.
A Luzerne County jury of seven men and nine women, which includes four alternates, was selected Wednesday to hear the case.
Assistant District Attorney Jenny Roberts and defense attorney Andrew Katsock then presented their opening statements before Roberts called two witnesses.
Testimony will continue this morning, Judge Tina Polachek Gartley said.
Roberts said in her opening statement that the boy wasn't taught personal hygiene, etiquette or how to socialize with peers.
The boy was shown pornography and told how to re-enact it with Hann. He didn't know how to use utensils to eat, Roberts said, couldn't tie his shoes and was homeschooled.
After being taken from the Gould Street residence, the boy went to live with a family member and now knows how to complete daily basic activities.
He has come a long way, Roberts said.
Katsock said in his opening statement that his clients didn't commit the crimes and were standing trial to prove they are innocent.
Katsock said both Hann and Caravella will testify.
Hann will testify she had once been overweight and was unable to have sexual intercourse with anyone. She also was injured in a vehicle accident that left her incapable of having sexual intercourse, Katsock said.
Caravella will testify, the defense attorney said, that even though he and Hann are married, the two were separated and stopped having sexual intercourse.
Roberts called Plymouth borough police Officer Ryan Williams to testify, who responded to a call of child abuse at the Gould Street home in August 2010.
Williams said the house had an overwhelming smell of urine, the walls and carpet were filthy and his boots were sticking to the kitchen floor.
Williams said once he and the Children & Youth worker took the boy from the home, they had to roll down the windows in his police cruiser because the boy smelled so bad.
Former Luzerne County Children & Youth caseworker Kelly Flaherty also testified that the home was unsanitary and that the boy told her he was homeschooled because he was a genius and Hann didn't want him learning bad things at school.
The boy told Flaherty Hann was lazy and didn't clean, that the home was infested with fleas and that he was permitted to watch pornography.