Archive for Wednesday, October 5, 2005

During husband’s hearing, woman details alleged rape

October 5, 2005

A McLouth woman last week described in graphic detail an alleged rape she said occurred at her estranged husband's home in Tonganoxie.

The 22-year-old woman's description of the alleged attack on Sept. 20 came during a preliminary hearing for her estranged husband, who is facing multiple charges in Leavenworth County District Court in connection with the attack and an incident in April.

Last Wednesday, the woman testified that she and the man married in June 2003. She said they separated in April, when her husband threatened her and their son, now 2. During the separation, however, the couple and their son ate together on occasional Tuesdays at the International House of Pancakes near Kansas Speedway. The woman said they would meet in Tonganoxie and ride together "to save gas." The meetings, she said, usually were civil.

On Sept. 20, the family went to the IHOP in Lawrence. When they returned to the man's residence, the woman asked to use the bathroom before she and her son left for their home in McLouth. The woman said that when she was in the bathroom, her husband entered the bathroom and tried to tie her up. He then moved her into the bedroom, telling their son that he should stay in the living room because the boy's parents needed to talk in the bedroom.

The woman said she struggled as her husband tied her wrists together and then tied one of her ankles to the bed. He also had a hand around her throat, she said.

She then described the alleged rape.

After the rape, the man offered to buy a soft drink for the woman at a Tonganoxie gasoline station. They drove separate vehicles to the convenience store. The child was in the man's vehicle, the woman said.

Once at the store, the man went into the store alone, leaving the woman and child outside, in separate vehicles.

The man and the child then left the store, and the woman drove to Leavenworth to meet a friend. The friend took her to Easton, where the friend's father lived, to decide what they should do next. They returned to Leavenworth, where they went to St. John Hospital and then Leavenworth's sexual assault center.

The woman said that her neck was so swollen after the attack -- because the man had choked her -- that she could not eat for two days.

The man's attorney, Rhonda Levinson, asked the woman why she did not contact police after the alleged attack or attempt to move the child to her vehicle while they were parked at the convenience store.

The woman said she was having difficulty breathing while in the parking lot.

The man had supervised custody of their child, meaning he could see the child if the man's mother or grandmother also were present. The mother or grandmother obviously were not present at the convenience store, but the woman said she knew he would be taking the child to his mother's house.

Again, Levinson asked the woman why she didn't contact police because the man was alone with their son.

"I didn't think they could get to the baby," the woman said.

The woman also testified about the incident in April, which she said occurred at the couple's Tonganoxie home. The woman said that on April 11, she attempted to take the child from their residence after the couple had argued. However, she said her husband would not let them leave. He pointed a revolver at her, with the hammer pulled back, she said.

"He said that if I took the baby, he'd shoot me," she said.

The woman then walked to the Tonganoxie police department and filed a report.

The gun, meanwhile, has not been found.

Throughout the woman's testimony, the man leaned over, his eyes to the floor, and shook his head back and forth.

During further cross-examination, Levinson questioned the woman's credibility by bringing up incidents from the woman's past.

Levinson asked the woman about an altercation between the woman and the woman's mother. The woman had accused her mother of beating her, according to Levinson, but during the altercation, the mother suffered broken ribs. The woman, however, said she was defending herself. In addition, the woman said she didn't recall her mother sustaining broken ribs.

On another occasion, Levinson said, the woman had accused her father of sexual improprieties. The woman, though, denied ever doing that.

In addition to rape, the man is charged with kidnapping and aggravated sexual battery stemming in connection with the alleged incident Sept. 20. He also faces charges of aggravated assault, criminal threat and endangering a child in connection with the April incident.

A pre-trial hearing is set for 11 a.m. today, during which a trial date will be sent for the man, who is being held in Leavenworth County Jail on $50,000 bond.

As a matter of policy, The Mirror generally does not name suspects in sex crimes unless there is a conviction or a guilty plea in the case.

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