The former Diamondhead councilman appeared in a preliminary hearing in Hancock County Court before Judge S. Trent Favre – and the court ruled there was probable cause to refer the case to a grand jury.
A Hancock County investigator took the witness stand to say Alan Moran groped a 17-year-old while the two were on duty in a Philip’s Pest Control truck. The teenager apparently rejected these advances and quickly phoned his father.
The young man’s parents met Moran and the teenager at Dolly’s gas station in the oven – at which point the father apprehended Moran, but not before the accused had thrown one of his two cell phones in the woods. According to witnesses at the hearing, Moran tried to flee.
The investigator said CCTV footage at Dolly’s house showed Moran trying to escape before police arrived, and the victim’s parents supported that claim in court.
Defense attorney Donald Rafferty questioned the credibility of the 17-year-old’s story because there is no physical evidence that a crime took place, according to the investigator.
“I am very limited in what I can say. I will say on behalf of my client, we deny the allegations. We look forward to our day in court,” Rafferty said. “And we look forward to the opportunity to make sure everyone gets the right side of the story, and gets my client’s side.”
The testimonies suggest a pattern of abuse; days before the alleged crime, Moran allegedly produced a sex toy at a small party that included the victim and several other teenagers. The counselor allegedly asked the boys to use the toy, an advance they all rejected.
“We believe there are multiple victims of Alan Moran’s criminal behavior before this particular victim,” Baria said. “And that the company he owned or the company he worked for knew or should have known that he was using those companies to carry out these crimes and that they should have stopped it a long time ago.”
The defense argues there is no evidence that Moran touched the boy for sexual gratification.
That said, the court found that the story involving the sex toy supported testimony that the alleged crime was sexual in nature.
“This victim’s family is not the first, but they want to make sure they are Alan Moran’s last victims,” Baria said.