Hart's Lawyers Dig Into Alleged Victim's Testimony, Past

Defense Questions Woman For Second Day In Rape Trial

June 20, 1991|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,Staff writer

Lawyers for accused rapist Gary Hart continued to attack the allegedvictim's testimony yesterday, questioning her about her educational background, her medication and past stories about being sexually assaulted.

Using resumes, job applications, police reports and telephone records, the lawyers pounded away for most of the morning and afternoon in an effort to prove to the jury that she is an unreliable witness.

After one of Hart's lawyers, Arnold Weiner, asked the 34-year-oldwoman about her foster mother from Michigan, the woman became visibly upset at the personal questions.

"You tell me," she said. "You seem to know everything. You went back into my past. You went back into my life. You tell me."

Yesterday was the woman's second on the witness stand. She has testified for more than seven hours since Tuesday, talking about everything from interviews with psychiatrists to past relationships to the night she says she was raped by Hart, a real estate broker.

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

The woman has testified that Hart raped and choked her while holding her face-down in his bedroom. Hart has said in interviews that he had sex with the woman that night but that it was consentual.

The trial, now in its third day, produced a packed courtroom once again. Hart at times has taken an active role in the proceedings by taking notes and participating inbench conferences.

The alleged victim has remained, for the most part, steady, although she broke down at least twice during testimonyyesterday.

For the second straight day, Weiner asked the woman about a story she told doctors at the Psychiatric Institute of Montgomery County in April 1987. She has said that when she was 16 and livingin the Detroit area, she shot and killed a Michigan police officer who had brutally raped her.

Tuesday, she recounted the story but denied defense claims that she told a psychiatrist she was prosecuted for murder and acquitted after claiming self-defense.

Yesterday, the woman said she was raped by a police officer when she was 16 but never reported it because she was living in a foster home and didn't have anyone to talk to.

She said she made up the story about killingthe officer so she could put the matter to rest in her own mind. "Bywishing he was dead . . . he couldn't come back," the woman testified.

The woman also said she lied on medical records at the Montgomery institute by using the last name of a boyfriend, pretending she was married.

"I had no insurance benefits," she said. "I put down the name . . . for insurance."

Weiner also questioned the woman on an incident 11 years ago when she told police she was attacked from behind outside a Virginia apartment complex, where she was living at the time.

Weiner brought out letters the woman told police she had received from her attacker. "I'm watching you, I want you, I'll have you. . . . Count on it," Weiner read.

"I can't remember exactly what the letters said," the woman answered.

Weiner alleged that the woman typed the letters herself on a typewriter. He said police dropped their investigation shortly after checking that claim.

The womantold prosecutor William C. Mulford II that she knew the man who had attacked her and decided not to go forward with the case.

She alsoagain denied having had a sexual relationship with Hart. Before Oct.16, she said, she had spent only one night at the house, on a couch in the living room.

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