Victim in a Sexual Assault Case Takes the Stand

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During a Feb. 8 non-jury trial for a domestic violence case, DC Superior Court Judge Jennifer M. Anderson denied the defense’s motion to dismiss their case.

The incident occurred on Aug. 13, 2018, in an apartment on the 5000 block of Washington Avenue, SW. The defendant allegedly assaulted the victim after they argued about his infidelity. He is being charged with first-degree sexual abuse and simple assault.

Judge Anderson resumed the trial Wednesday with her ruling on the defense’s motion to dismiss. Judge Anderson said that while she agreed with the defense’s argument against the conscientiousness of the case, she did not find there to be gross negligence nor a sufficient violation of the prosecution providing evidence to the defense

Body camera footage that contained the victim’s initial testimony was cleared from the police’s database six months after the initial upload. The defense said on Feb. 7, the first day of trial, that the prosecution’s failure to preserve this crucial evidence is in fact a violation.

Judge Anderson refuted this claim and ruled that the notes collected from the detective on the case was sufficient to carry on the case. 

After this ruling, defense attorney Jacqueline Cadman moved to enact four separate regulations, including:  

  1. The victim’s demeanor from the day of the incident are excluded from questioning because the defense cannot confront the witness without her initial testimony. 
  2. To not allow the detective to discuss the demeanor of the victim from the day of the incident.
  3. To start with the assumption that the victim is not credible.
  4. To assume there is missing evidence. 

Judge Anderson listened to each party’s arguments and approved these sanctions for the trial. 

On Wednesday, the victim gave her account of the events leading up to Aug. 13, 2018, and the alleged rape. 

To conclude her questioning for the day, Cadman said the reality of the situation was that the victim hadn’t seen the defendant for two weeks and missed him. 

The defense said the victim suspected that he’d been with someone else while he was away and when she saw him that morning, she had voluntarily gone into his bedroom and was intimate with him to secure their relationship. 

Cadman then argued that the victim classified their intimacy that day as non consensual after she found the text messages from another woman because she wanted to punish the defendant for his infidelity. 

During the hearing, the victim interrupted Cadman and told her she was wrong. She said she wouldn’t have slept with the defendant because she was upset with him, and the sex that was forced upon her was not by her own omission.

According to court documents, the victim allegedly confronted her boyfriend when she’d found texts from another woman on his phone. Additionally, she discovered that he’d changed her contact name to “Mom,” to conceal her identity when out on dates. 

After the victim and the defendant settled their argument and returned home, the defendant allegedly grabbed the victim, picked her up and took her to his bedroom. There he told her he “wanted her.”

According to the victim’s testimony, the victim said she struggled against the defendant and told him to stop. Even so, the defendant continued to make forced sexual advancements.

The victim said she suffered from a panic attack and it was triggered by the defendant’s aggression. She said she hyperventilated for moments before making her way to the bathroom and vomiting. 

The defendant took the victim to Providence Hospital to seek care, according to court documents. It was there that the victim confided in a nurse to “get [him] away.”

The attending nurse called the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) and reported the interaction. Officers arrived on scene with the understanding that there was an incident of domestic violence. 

Judge Anderson continued the trial to Feb. 9 when the victim will take the stand.

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