WARSAW — The victim and investigating officer were the only witnesses heard Tuesday afternoon before the court adjourned for the day. Testimony will continue at 8:30 a.m. today, Wednesday, Aug. 24, in Kosciusko Circuit Court in the trial against Oscar McDowell, 33, Chicago.
During opening statements the prosecutor called the rape small town living with a big city crime. Dan Hampton, prosecutor, recounted events leading up to the alleged assault, the assault and the investigation. He noted the Sexual Assault Center confirmed her statements.
Scott Lennox, defense attorney, said it was consensual and an experiment that went wrong. The accused came to town after invited to do a show. Lennox painted a different story, that the victim attended a dude rap show in one of the wildest places in town at that time, she partied with the band and was part of the sex, drug and rock n’ roll scene. He alleged the victim decided to have sex with a number of individuals and to experience it with big city rappers, but because her husband is incarcerated she became embarrassed and ashamed and turned the tables and screams rape.
With her hand shaking while taking an oath, the victim took the stand. Looking only at the prosecutor, who stood next to the jury box, she explained what transpired prior to the the attack. The victim recounted the weekend, explaining being a designated driver to the Do or Die concert at the Aloha Bar due to a recent surgery, how she had to change clothes, what she drank, how three individuals were taken in her vehicle back to the Wyndham due to their intoxication.
She explained how she was investigating the potential theft of items from her vehicle, which she had locked, but found unlocked. She then described her attack, first by one man who sexually assaulted her from behind, then two others who grabbed her arms, held her down and forced her to perform oral sex. She testified during the assault she could hear her relative asking her if she was all right. Her response was she was and just wanted to go home. She gave descriptions of her attackers, stating she did not know their names. Later under questioning she pointed out McDowell at the defense table.
During cross examination Lennox confronted the victim about leaving her small children with a person she only knew by first name. Asking the ages of her children, which she had to pause to think before responding. Under questioning, the victim admitted to drinking one alcoholic drink, which did not agree with her. Lennox also attempted to ascertain who the $8,900 belonged to that was reported stolen from her vehicle.
Two sets of photos were admitted into evidence of the victim walking down the hallway at the Wyndham with several individuals and the “party dress” she was wearing. He also questioned if she was successful in biting any of the victims, or had scratched the victims. The defense asked what medication she had taken. Referring to the Sexual Assault Center’s report stating she had stated she had taken Zoloft, Zanex and Methodone, the victim denied ever saying that. She did admit she had taken Zoloft, which was prescribed.
Attempts by the defense to enter into evidence her past criminal history (false informing) and Facebook messages between her and McDowell were denied by the judge. Previous criminal involvement of the victim had been agreed inadmissible and the Facebook messages were allegedly incomplete according to the victim. However questioning and responses had already taken place before the judge approved (sustained) the prosecution’s objections.
The final witness for the day was Warsaw Police Cpl. Gordon Allen, who described how he was notified to respond and his part in the investigation that followed. He testified through photo identification, the victim identified two individuals, neither of whom were McDowell.
Two jurors asked questions of Allen, which the judge allowed. Allen was asked if he found out what time the victim’s mother arrived at the scene or if the victim ever named Williams as a possible suspect. His response was no to both questions.