Woman Testifies Relationship With Hart Not Intimate

June 19, 1991|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,Staff writer

The woman accusing real estate broker Gary Hart of rape testified yesterday that the two had dated only four times in three months and that the first time they had sex was the morning she was attacked.

Speaking in a steady but subdued voice, the woman said Hart had pursued her for months by frequenting Jason's, an Annapolis nightclub whereshe worked as a waitress, and telling her he was interested in dating.

"He came in almost every time I worked," the 34-year-old woman said. "He was nice to me. He also tipped well."

The woman's testimony countered claims made by Hart's lawyer during opening arguments Monday that the couple had had a three-month intimate relationship.

The woman, who now lives in Arnold, spent more than four hours on the witness stand yesterday and will continue to answer questions from Hart's lawyers today.

Hart was indicted on first-degree rape chargesafter the woman told police she was attacked in his home in the 3700block of Thomas Point Drive Oct. 16.

Yesterday, before a packed courtroom of mostly family and friends of Hart, the woman told jurors that Hart forcibly raped her in his bedroom following a date.

She said that on Oct. 15, her apartment was flooded when her dishwasher broke, and she called to break a date with Hart.

"I told him about the flood, that my place was under water and I did not think it was agood idea to go out that evening," the woman testified. "He thought that because of the stress, I should go out."

She said she and Hart went to Riordan's Saloon in Annapolis, then back to Hart's home, where they listened to 1950s-style music for two hours.

"I believe Ifirst made a comment that I should go home," the woman said. "He told me that it was ridiculous for me to go home because of the condition of my place. I should spend the night there."

She said Hart got her a pink dress shirt for her to change into. She said that when shecame out of the upstairs bathroom wearing the shirt, Hart started tomake sexual advances toward her.

She said they kissed for a few minutes, then Hart tried to touch her chest.

"He did make the comment that he was attracted to me and he also said that I was the first person whom he has known for three months that he hasn't slept with,"the woman said. "And he liked that."

The woman said she tried to stop Hart from touching her, but was unsuccessful. "He became more forceful," she said. "He was trying to lift up my shirt."

She said Hart eventually forced her onto her stomach, where he put his knee in her back and choked her with his hands around her neck. He then rapedher, she testified.

"He kept telling me to stop fighting because it was what I really wanted," the woman said.

After the attack, the woman said, Hart called her a "slut waitress" and told her he was powerful in the city, that he bought judges and police officers. The woman also said Hart told her she "would crawl out of this town when he was done with me."

Arnold Weiner, in his cross-examination, has not asked the woman about the alleged rape. He spent more than two hours asking the woman about her past psychological history and statements to doctors 17 hours after she said she was attacked.

Weiner brought up a date the woman and Hart had on Oct. 2. The woman testifiedthat she spent the night after the date at her apartment in Annapolis and that there was "no physical contact at all."

But Weiner showed the woman medical records from Anne Arundel County General Hospital dated Oct. 17 saying the woman told a doctor that the last time shehad sex was two weeks prior to the assault.

The woman told Weinershe did not remember the doctor asking that question.

Weiner thenstarted grilling the woman about her psychiatric history, which includes a two-week stay at the Psychiatric Institute of Montgomery County in April 1987 and visits to at least three Annapolis psychiatrists in 1988, 1989 and 1990.

The woman admitted to telling a psychiatrist in 1987 that when she was 16 years old and living in the Detroit area, she shot and killed a Michigan police officer who had brutally raped her.

But she denied telling the doctor that she had been prosecuted for murder and acquitted because the shooting was self-defense.

Regarding the same incident, the woman admitted she told an investigator for the State's Attorney's office on March 15 that she had consentual sex with an undercover police officer posing as a security guard. "And that is the same incident you described to doctors as a brutal rape?" Weiner asked.

"Yes," the woman answered.

The womanalso admitted that she locked herself in a boyfriend's bedroom with a loaded gun Thursday in Cape St. Claire following an argument. She said she called Dave Cordle, an investigator for the State's Attorney's office, who came to the house and took the gun away. She said she then went to stay with her brother.

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