Witness Questioning Persists for Third Day in a Row in Sex Abuse Trial

During a Feb. 8 non-jury trial, counsel resumed witness questioning in a domestic violence case. 

The defendant is being charged with first-degree sexual abuse and simple assault. The alleged incident occurred on Aug. 13, 2018, in an apartment on the 5000 block of Washington Avenue, SW. The argument ensued after the victim found texts from another woman on the defendant’s phone, which resulted in an alleged nonconsensual sexual altercation between the two.

DC Superior Court Judge Jennifer M. Anderson began the third day with counsel questioning the victim. Defense attorney Jacqueline Cadman continued her attempt to invalidate the complainant’s claims of assault by inquiring into her various testimonies given throughout the four year duration of the case. 

The complainant relied heavily on the argument that she “did not recall” the specificities of her testimonies. Many of her answers to the defense’s questions regarding the detail of what occurred on Aug. 13, 2018, was “I don’t recall.”  She attributed any inconsistencies to the sheer amount of time that has elapsed since the assault. 

After questioning the accuser, the prosecution called a detective on the case in 2018. At the time, he was a veteran on the force with a 30 year rapport with the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).  

The witness recounted his introduction to the case on the day of the incident and the several interviews he conducted with the complainant and defendant. 

The defense played various audial testimonies collected from these interviews and continued to poke holes in the accuser’s account of the incident. 

For example, the complainant said that the defendant choked her, but according to court documents she told the detective and medical personnel on the case that no physical assault occurred.  Finally, evidence of choking failed to appear during the accuser’s medical examination. 

The prosecution redirected the witness and argued that the defendant is likely to have assaulted the complainant because of his own variability in whether or not he and the accuser had sex that day. According to court documents, it was only after the defendant was asked for a DNA swab that he admitted to having sex with the victim on Aug. 13, 2018. 

The final witness was the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) who was responsible for conducting the complainant’s Sexual Assault Forensic Exam (SAFE). The court accepted this witness as an expert witness. 

When conducting the SAFE exam in 2018, the witness documented every observation made regarding the complainant’s physical state. The witness said that she observed blunt trauma to the complainant’s vaginal walls, but no marks or bruising to the complainant’s extremities. 

The defense asked the witness in cross examination if the trauma found in the vagina is consistent with nonconsensual sex? She said that there is no definitive way to tell if the sex is consensual or not based on these vaginal marks. 

To conclude the day’s trial, the defense once again requested the defendant be acquitted on both charges. 

Judge Anderson denied the defense’s motion and scheduled the next hearing for Feb. 13 at 2:30 p.m.

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