A former security guard from Horace Mann Middle School testified Tuesday that he witnessed then Colorado Springs police officer Josh Carrier touching student wrestlers' genitals as he inspected them for ringworm and skin lesions.
Nick Graham, who said he was close friends with Carrier, is a key witness in Carrier's child sex abuse trial. He told the court that there were times when he and Carrier pulled student wrestlers out of class. This would happen if the wrestlers had missed their regular morning weigh-in or if Carrier, a volunteer wrestling coach at the time, had noticed something irregular on a student's skin during a weigh-in.
Graham testified that, at times, he saw Carrier ask boys' to take off their underwear so he could look for lesions in their genital area. He said Carrier would look at the inside of the boys' thighs, look at their genitals and move their genitals with the back of his hand as he inspected the area.
Graham also said he saw Carrier touched a student's genitals as he was strip searching the boy, looking for drugs. Graham added he believed a school administrator was there at the time, but he couldn't remember who.
When questioned by Carrier's defense attorney, Graham said he never felt the exams or searches were inappropriate or he would have reported them. He said none of the wrestlers seemed confused or upset by them.
Graham told the court that he'd had extremely little training when he started as a security guard at Mann. He agreed with the defense attorney that he often looked to Carrier for guidance.
"He was a police officer," Graham said quietly, at one point.
He said what's happened has been "killing him."
Graham said, before Carrier was arrested, they used to meet and play Magic the Gathering card games for "hours on end." The pair planned to move in together and start a DJ business. Graham cooperated with police after Carrier was arrested, allowing them to record a calls he made to Carrier and then pushing his friend for information. The court heard the calls on Monday.
Graham is still employed by D-11, but has been re-assigned to technical services.
Before Graham took the stand, jurors heard testimony from top administrators at Mann Middle School who said they felt Carrier was an "asset" to the school during the time he was an officer and volunteer there. They said Carrier used his own money to buy new wrestling mats and help pay for a wrestling trip. He was described as someone well-loved by students and trusted by staff.
Carrier was a school resource officer at Mann during the 2009-2010 school year. Then the city cut resource officers at middle schools for budget reasons. Carrier continued on at Mann as a volunteer.