Hays County, Texas
Intoxicated, my client wanted to make a “booty call” and stay overnight at the apartment of a female co-worker who lived close to their job. She says he can come over and sleep on her couch, but there will be no sex. She claims my client entered her bedroom and forced himself on her before passing out in her bed. When my client left the next morning, the accuser called a friend who came over right away. A sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE) testified as an expert witness that the accuser had injuries consistent with a sexual assault.
Again, the path to victory was opened by way of solid and persistent cross-examination. By simply taking the accuser’s story step by step and drawing out more detail, her story became more and more convoluted. I cornered the accuser into admitting she’d had consensual sex with my client on previous occasions (sometimes in a rough manner) and that she’d crawled back into bed with him (both of them naked) after the alleged assault, after she had supposedly just “gotten away from him” and continually said “no.”
This would not necessarily have been enough to secure the win. After all, we cannot expect a sexual assault victim to behave rationally after a traumatic event, can we?
The prosecution called the accuser’s friend to testify as to what she saw that morning and to describe the accuser’s demeanor. Of course, she said that the accuser looked shell shocked, upset, like she had been raped. What I found interesting was that the police were not called until 5 hours after the friend arrived.
I also noticed that, by her demeanor on the witness stand, the friend seemed to have a vested interest in the outcome of the case. After pinning down the timeline, I asked the friend if she was herself the victim of a violent crime. This drew an objection from the prosecution, and after a lengthy hearing with the jury out of the courtroom, the judge allowed the question and the jury learned of the friend’s status as a sexual assault victim because it was relevant to her bias in favor of the accuser and against my client.
I was also able to get the friend to admit that the police were not called until soon after she and the accuser received a call from the accuser’s workplace indicating that my client had been bragging to fellow employees about having sex with the accuser before coming to work. This, of course, provided motive for the false accusation.
The jury found my client NOT GUILTY.