Former Percy Julian Middle School Spanish teacher Joel Rhea became the 13th state's witness to identify the alleged victim from the tape at the center of the case this morning.
Rhea, wearing a black shirt and gray suit, testified that he had coached the Percy Julian girls basketball team while the alleged victim played for Percy Julian's Oak Park rival, Emerson Middle School.
The alleged victim was close friends with players on the Percy Julian team, including Audrey Hampton and Simha Jamison, he said, adding that he had met the alleged victim "seven or eight times" while she was in the seventh grade.
He said he could identify the alleged victim as being on the tape by "the facial features, the forehead and the smile," and estimated she was 14 or 15 on the tape.
The alleged victims friends teased her about her "big forehead," he said.
Under cross-examination from defense attorney Marc Martin, Rhea said that he was good friends with Simha's guardian, Peter Thomas, who was the first Oak Park parent to contact police about the tape.
The defense has repeatedly tried to suggest that the victim's friends, parents and teachers from Oak Park identified the girl on the tape based on rumor, rather than their own knowledge.
Rhea acknowledged he had taught and coached hundreds of students during his career but said it was his job to watch young people grow up, maintaining that it was the alleged victim on the case.