Unassailable Corroboration

I was eventually able to fix about a 1-1/2 to two hour window in which the rape must have taken place:

The reason for this was the first call to Katrina Gerew had taken place at 7:14 PM.  The events Adrian described would have taken about three hours beginning at 2 PM.  That would mean Sephora left Adrian’s house in Geneseo about 5 PM, give or take, in the company of her girlfriend Mechal and Eric Harder.

At 7:14 PM – a little over two hours later – Sephora was worried that she was pregnant and called Katrina Gerew.  In fact, she called Katrina twice that night, and the rest of the phone records indicated that she rarely called Katrina.

Sephora was really worried that she was pregnant that evening.

But she had been in the hospital that morning and had been given a pregnancy test, which was negative.  She was discharged from the hospital at noon.  Why was she so worried that she was pregnant seven hours later?  This implies an act of sexual intercourse taking place in the seven hours between the time she was discharged from the hospital and the time of the call to Katrina Gerew.  The only males who were identified as having been in her company during that interval were Adrian Paige, and Eric Harder.  In her interactions with me she had no difficulty discussing Paige, but her reaction when the subject of Eric Harder came up was very strange, and her denials about ever having met him were not only false but otherwise inexplicably so.  Ergo…

One other practitioner’s note about the Katrina Gerew affidavit and phone records.  I took that statement in January of 2005.  At that point I knew Sephora had been raped but I didn’t know about the police conspiracy to frame her, so I was still thinking that this case was likely to be tried.  The rape was one of those “bombshell” type items, but of course hard to prove if it was contested.  I constructed the statement so that it appeared to be about Sephora’s condition at the time, corroboration that she was passed out and not driving.  This was a point that was less threatening to the prosecution’s case:  they had “evidence” saying that she was driving, I had evidence saying that she was not driving.  That’s a conflict in evidence.  Conflicts in evidence are normally resolved by a jury in favor of the prosecution.  Since the judge would not be terribly afraid of the evidence on that basis I would likely get it in.  Same with the medical records from that morning.

But the real reason I wanted that statement in evidence was to point out the negative pregnancy test and the two lengthy calls to Katrina Gerew as proof corroborating that Sephora had been raped by Harder, a much more dramatic purpose and a far greater threat to the prosecution.  If the judge – who, like everyone else in the courtroom is trying to convict the defendant while maintaining a pretense of fairness and objectivity – knew about the rape connection I would be making with that evidence, he would never let me get it in.  The plan, then, was to get the evidence in on the “she was passed out and not driving basis”, and say nothing about its relevance to the rape allegations until my closing statement, when it would be too late for the judge and prosecutor to do anything to squelch it.

In other words, if you have some evidence that you think is highly damaging to the prosecution’s case, it is better to disguise it as something else so the judge won’t keep it out.  This is one of the deceptive tactics I referred to in an earlier post.  It’s sad that you have to think this way, but it’s the way it is.

 

1 Comment

Filed under financial crisis, Judicial lying/cheating, Striking lawyers, wrongful convictions

One response to “Unassailable Corroboration

  1. It does seem to me that a defense lawyer would drastically hamstring himself if he automatically assumed that a judge would exclude otherwise admissible evidence simply because it helped the defense. Seems you could easily outwit yourself by unnecessarily trying to outwit the prosecution and the judge. In the Casey Anthony case Baez made unsupported assertions in opening statement and closing argument that an accidental drowning had occurred and that George had molested Casey, but that was because he just didn’t have the evidence, largely because Casey wasn’t going to testify (probably a wise decision in that case).

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