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The trial of a Gainesville man accused of rape and kidnapping began Tuesday with testimony from medical and law enforcement officials.
Stanley Brown, 53, is accused in the alleged July 26, 2012, assault of a woman on Travis Drive in Gainesville. Brown’s trial started Monday in Hall County Superior Court.
He was indicted on eight counts in January 2013: rape, aggravated sexual battery, aggravated sodomy, kidnapping with bodily injury, kidnapping, false imprisonment, aggravated battery and battery.
Investigator Donald McDuffie with the Hall County Sheriff’s Office interviewed the alleged victim at Northeast Georgia Medical Center.
He described her appearance in the emergency room to Assistant District Attorney Zach Smith.
“First, looking at her, there was bruising. There was tears coming from her eyes. Redness — her eyes were swollen,” he said. “(It) seemed like some abrasions to the facial area.”
McDuffie interviewed the defendant several days later in investigating the reported assault, and said Brown seemed “sweaty,” “a little arrogant” and “a little upset.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about. You’ve got nothing on me,” Brown said, in a taped interview at the sheriff’s office Law Enforcement Center played to jurors.
Brown said he was not with a woman on the night in question, and that family members could attest to his whereabouts.
He often gave rambling, off-topic responses to questions, and referenced a fight with an unnamed woman who he said was on drugs, but denied knowing the alleged victim when given her name.
When McDuffie left the interview room, Brown said in a profanity-laced statement that he “did not put (his) hand on that ... (woman).”
Brown’s attorney, public defender Larry Duttweiler, asked McDuffie if he believed Brown’s statement that he had 14 years of education and four years of law practice.
McDuffie had asked Brown about his education prior to reading his Miranda rights, through repeated interruptions from Brown.
“I have to take him at his word,” McDuffie said. “When he said he had 14 years of schooling — anyone can do additional years after high school in their education.”
“What about four years of law education. Did that tip you a little bit?” Duttweiler asked.
“Yeah, that tipped me a little bit,” McDuffie said.
Brown ultimately signed a form waiving his Miranda rights to remain silent and to have an attorney with him during the interview.
The state has alluded that a possible defense claim would be that the sexual encounter was consensual; responding to questions from Assistant District Attorney Juliet Aldridge, a forensic interviewer said a nonconsensual sexual assault could be nonforcible, and that a vaginal injury — or lack of — would not confirm or refute that sex was consensual or nonconsensual.
Smith asked McDuffie how many cases of sexual assault, out of some 100 to 200 he had investigated, involved a stranger attacking a stranger.
“Is it fair to say zero percent involved victims who did not know their assailants?” Smith asked.
“That’s correct,” McDuffie said.
Brown vaguely denied to McDuffie knowing the alleged victim, although it was unclear what woman he was specifically referring to.
When McDuffie asked if he was dating the woman who filed the report, Brown gave an incoherent response.
Duttweiler pointed to apparent inconsistencies in the alleged victim’s report, asking McDuffie about a statement that Brown had “made her wash off” during the incident.
“When I looked in the bathroom, in the bathtub, in the sink, it was not as if someone had utilized it. It was very filthy. Trashed,” McDuffie said.
Superior Court Judge Bonnie Oliver had to end testimony early, around 3 p.m., as snowfall accumulated outside and county buildings announced closures for inclement weather.
McDuffie will return to the witness stand when Brown’s trial resumes today at 9 a.m., barring the court’s continued closure.
Oliver instructed jurors to call a court information line for periodic updates.