VISTA, Calif. - Two Border Patrol agents accused of committing lewd acts in public took the stand in their own defense Wednesday claiming that no inappropriate behavior occurred during a performance of Cirque du Soleil's "Totem."
Kallie Helwig, 25, and 35-year old Gerald Torello denied any contact during the show, other than kissing and hugging.
"Did Miss Helwig ever put her hands down your pants?" asked defense attorney Richard Muir.
"'No, sir," replied Torrello.
"Would you have let her do that?" Muir asked.
"No sir," Torello responded.
"Why not?" asked Muir.
"It's just not appropriate," said Torello.
According to prosecution witnesses, Helwig put her hands down Torello's pants during intermission in full view of the public.
However, Helwig testified that she was tugging on Torello's belt in an effort to keep him from buying a fourth glass of champagne because she said Torello had already had too much.
Later, the couple sitting next to the agents claimed Helwig's head was in Torello's lap and she appeared to be performing a sex act.
Both defendants testified Helwig's head was resting in her hand and that her elbow was in Torello's lap.
Helwig testified that Dr. Chai Wu told the couple to "get a room," and she said Wu repeatedly accused her of being inappropriate.
"She screamed, repeatedly, three or four times, 'He has his hand on her breast,'" said Helwig, who told the court she screamed back with conviction, "His hand is on my stomach."
Helwig testified Torello was rubbing her stomach because she felt ill and he was trying to comfort her.
Helwig told the court that after the circus performance ended, Wu walked in her direction, shouting angrily.
"She approached me. I felt threatened and I felt that I had no other choice than to defend myself," Helwig said.
Helwig punched Wu three times, before the two women began pulling each other's hair and clothing.
Helwig is charged with battery, and She and Torello each face two counts of committing lewd acts in public.
The case is expected to go to the jury Thursday.