Before 10-year-old Marissa Kennedy was killed last February, she was allegedly forced to take off her clothes and pose naked with her mother, Sharon Carrillo, while Carrillo’s husband, Julio, physically and sexually assaulted them, according to new court documents filed by Sharon’s attorneys Friday afternoon in Waldo County Superior Court.
The documents portray Sharon Carrillo as a victim of torture at the hands of her husband, Marissa’s stepfather. They argue that the pair should not be tried together and that Sharon was a victim, not an accomplice, in months of abuse that resulted in the child’s death.
Marissa was abused for months before she was found dead in her family’s Stockton Springs condo a year ago, allegedly at the hands of her mother and stepfather. The Carrillos were charged with depraved indifference murder. They pleaded not guilty and have been awaiting trial in jail since then.
Sharon’s attorneys, Chris MacLean and Laura Shaw of Camden Law LLP, filed two separate motions Friday. One filing contains details that have not previously been released publicly, including descriptions of a photo recovered from Julio’s phone by Maine State Police that detail abuse of the child and her mother.
The new evidence is proof, MacLean argues, that Sharon Carrillo was experiencing “extreme physical, sexual and psychological abuse designed to cause physical and emotional agony,” according to the filing.
Julio’s torture of Sharon and Marissa had the effect of “breaking down [their] conception of reality” and caused them to submit to “a new reality created and imposed by Julio,” MacLean argued.
According to the documents, “Julio Carrillo would physically force [Sharon and Marissa] to strip naked and kneel together on the floor of their home. He would force them to hold their arms in the air and threaten to beat them with his hands and other objects if they lowered their arms,” which caused “excruciating” pain.
The court document goes on to describe that Julio sexually assaulted the woman and child. A cellphone photo, allegedly recovered by police, illustrates this scene, the filing states. Marissa appears to be 10 years old in the photo and her mother is visibly pregnant, according to the court filing.
MacLean claims Julio used “extreme manipulation, deception and isolation to reinforce his absolute control” over Sharon.
MacLean also claims that the tactics used by detectives to interrogate Sharon in the days after Kennedy died were “coercive” in light of the new information filed today. As a result, MacLean, in the second document, is calling for all statements given by Sharon to law enforcement to be suppressed.
Darrick X. Banda, Julio’s attorney, discounted Friday’s filings.
“Sharon Carrillo’s attempts to deflect all blame onto Julio, in the end, are not going to be successful,” he said.
Prosecutors have called for the Carrillos to be tried together, arguing it would be more efficient. Banda said Julio wants a joint trial. Sharon’s attorneys on Friday argued that the new evidence should preempt a separate trial.
“On one hand, the state of Maine seeks justice for the death of Marissa Kennedy; on the other, Sharon Carrillo seeks exoneration,” the filing reads. “Ordering separate trials for both … are the best means of ensuring that the ends of justice are met.”
If you or someone you know needs resources or support related to sexual violence, contact the Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault’s 24/7 hotline at 800-871-7741.