Hart's Habits Questioned In Two Hours Of Testimony

July 03, 1991|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,Staff writer

The prosecutor in the Gary Hart rape trial kept the real estate broker on the stand for nearly two hours yesterday, answering a litany ofquestions ranging from his sexual habits to how he feels about the woman's accusations.

At times, Hart said he could not remember specific details, including a scar on the woman's body, although he said he had sex with her six times in three months.

Hart berated county police for the way they handled the complaintand the way the press reported it. He repeatedly denied raping and choking the 34-year-old woman

at his Thomas Point Road home Oct. 16, saying sex they had that morning was consentual.

"You lost control that night, didn't you?" Assistant States Attorney William C. Mulford asked.

"No," Hart answered.

"You raped her that night, didn't you?" Mulford asked again.

"Absolutely not," Hart said.

Hartwas the last witness to be called in the case that has lasted nearlythree weeks. Lawyers for both sides will give their closing arguments this morning. The case should be in the jury's hands by lunch.

The case frequently has included sensational testimony, including allegations thatthe woman suffered from a mental disorder that caused herto fantasize about rape.

Defense attorneys are hoping the jury --eight men and four women -- will see the alleged victim as a woman who made up the story about Hart raping her to get back at him for breaking off their relationship.

Prosecutors say there never was a relationship and that Hart raped the woman, who testified that she planned to sleep on Hart's couch after a date.

Mulford questioned Harton a variety of subjects, including dinner dates with the victim where he used his company's credit cards for payment.

He also delved into Hart's current divorce proceedings, which Mulford said wererocky, about how many times birth control was used when he and the woman had sex. The prosecutor also questioned why if Hart and the woman had an ongoing relationship, none of her personal belongings were at his house.

Hart testified that he was dating three other woman -- someregularly, some sporadically -- while he was seeing the victim. He said he was intimate with at least one of the women.

The woman has testified that the first time she and Hart had sex was the morning she allegedly was attacked. Hart has said he had an ongoing sexual relationship withthe woman that included sex nearly every time they went out.

"I didn't keep a diary of my sexual activities that describedwhat my sexual acts had been with anyone," Hart said.

"For me to sit here and give you a play-by-play of all the times I've had sex with someone would be taxing."

Mulford asked Hart if he and woman engaged in foreplay before sex, including having oral sex. When Hart said yes, Mulford asked if he noticed a scar on the woman's lower abdomen.

"Not that I recall," Hart answered.

"Directly above it," Mulford said.

"I understand the area you are describing to me," Hartsaid. "But I don't recall any distinguishing marks on her body. WhenI saw (the woman's) body, it was generally without light."

Hart also denied saying to anyone he was above the law, as a previous witness had testified. He did say, however, that the system had been unfair to him.

"I certainly have some concerns and some opinions about the way the system can place someone like myself in this position. . . . I have been publicly humiliated. I have been financially injured."

Hart said the press should not have reported his name, especially when it has not revealed the identity of the victim. He also said the county police had been unfair in their investigation.

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