Jury deliberates, judge denies request

Published 9:16 pm Tuesday, April 30, 2013

  The second day of trial of an accused child-rapist ended with the jury in deliberations and a denied request by the judge for copies of evidence and transcripts to help guide them.

“Ladies and gentlemen, all the evidence has been submitted,” said Superior Court Judge Russell Duke Jr. “And that’s it.”

Shawn Godley has been charged with three counts of first-degree rape of child and three counts of taking indecent liberties with a minor.

During Monday’s court session, the alleged victim testified in a closed courtroom, which Duke ruled was applicable considering the age of the alleged victim (13).

On the second day of the trial, both prosecution and defense called witnesses to testify, among them Det. Dean Watson of the Washington Police Department, the grandmother, aunt and father of alleged victim, and the first cousin of the defendant with whom the defendant and his girlfriend were living when the alleged crimes occurred.

In closing arguments, defense attorney Marc Haggard emphasized to the jury the lack of opportunity, in reference to both location and time, for Godley to commit the crimes; the closeness of Godley and his girlfriend, Ann; and the testimony of witnesses that said Godley and the victim were never alone together. Haggard went on to question the validity of the alleged victim’s story, indicating that it changed each time she spoke to members of her family, law enforcement and to the court on the witness stand.

“The evidence shows that she’s a troubled young woman,” Haggard said, adding that the alleged victim exhibited attention-seeking behavior, often in a negative manner.

Haggard reminded the jury that all evidence in the case was based on what the alleged victim said happened and the fact that the testimony changed from moment to moment made it a “case that’s riddled and screaming with reasonable doubt.”

In the prosecution’s closing arguments, Assistant District Attorney Chad Stoop admitted that the 13-year-old’s testimony on the witness stand was “confusing to follow” and “disjointed,” but he attributed that to the embarrassing and humiliating task of describing sexual acts in detail to strangers — a difficult task for most, much less for a 13-year-old girl, he said.

Stoop reminded the jury that the girl’s aunt had testified that Godley gave the alleged victim money for snacks and that the girl would talk to Godley about her problems, setting the stage for the kind of intimate relationship that could lead to statutory rape charges.

Stoop urged the jury sort through the context of the alleged victim’s testimony and to follow the law.

The court reconvenes at 9:30 a.m. today and the jury will continue deliberations.