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Judge puts seal on teenage victim's testimony in Madison torture case

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Photo: Video by tmj4.com

Judge puts seal on teenage victim's testimony in Madison torture case

By the WTMJ News Team. CREATED Mar 13, 2012 - UPDATED: Mar 13, 2012

MADISON - The judge in a torture case in Madison put a temporary seal on video statements by the teenage victim, as a continuance has been granted in the case.

Judge Amy Smith put a seal on at the request of both prosecution and defense lawyers.

Chad Chritton and his wife Melinda Drabek-Chritton face accusations that they starved  and tortured the teenage victim for years.

"We have a child victim here, and we're looking out for the child," said Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne.

The defense argued that the victim should have been present in the courtroom.

"We would have crossed examined her if she would have appeared in court. You cannot cross examine a movie. No possible way you can do it. It's not meaningful," said Defense Attorney Bill Hayes.

Judge Smith felt the 15-year-old's testimony should be shown since the victim was not present in court.

The judge later decided it was best to place the video of a recorded police interview under seal.

A decision about that key piece of evidence was expected to be made in court before the end of Wednesday.

Both Chad and Melinda face up to 20 years in prison if they are convicted.