WESTMINSTER — The wife of a Mount Airy man charged with sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl last December testified yesterday that the alleged victim was not with her husband on the night of the attack.
Amir H. Tabassi, 42, is charged with child abuse, second-degree rape and two fourth-degree sex offenses in connection with an alleged attack on the girl, who is now 16.
Prosecutors and the girl maintain the attack occurred at Tabassi's home Dec. 16, but witnesses for the defense testified yesterday in Carroll Circuit Court that the girl did not sleep at the home that night.
The teen-ager, whose name is being withheld to protect her privacy, testified Monday that she stayed at the home Dec. 16 and that she often did so because her father was "good friends" with Tabassi.
She said Tabassi came into the room where she was sleeping, began touching her and then forced her to have sexual intercourse.
She said she did not scream during the attack because she was afraid of Tabassi, who is a sixth-degree black belt in karate.
She testified that she didn't tell anyone about the attack for several weeks becauseshe "didn't know what to do and was scared."
But Tabassi's wife, Leah; another woman who lives in the Mount Airy home; and Tabassi's parents told the jury they were in the home that night and the girl was not.
Leah Tabassi also testified the teen's father told her the girl was a "chronic liar."
The other woman who lives in the house,Diane Kropiewnicki, is the owner of the home. The Tabassis rent rooms from her, according to court testimony.
Kropiewnicki said she also was told by the girl's father that she told lies.
The girl's father testified earlier in the case that he never called his daughter a liar, but acknowledged they have had some problems in their relationship since they moved from Philadelphia back to Hagerstown, Washington County in 1989.
He said she missed her friends in Philadelphia and had run away from home for eight days and stolen her grandmother's car.
The jury began hearing testimony in the case Monday afternoon.
In his opening argument, senior Assistant State's Attorney Barton F. Walker III told the jury the "common thread" in the case is the fact that Tabassi "breached the trust of the victim and her father."
But Martha Kavanaugh, Tabassi's attorney from Rockville, Montgomery County, maintains the girl "told a big lie last January" when shetold a girlfriend and a school guidance counselor about the attack.
"This case is based on a fantasy, a delusion, a fabrication," Kavanaugh told the jury.
She said the girl is a rebellious teen-ager who has had chronic problems in school and with her father, and was trying to get back at the Tabassis because she didn't like the discipline when she stayed at their home.
Kavanaugh also told the jury herclient believes he is being persecuted because he was born in Iran.
A Hagerstown doctor called by the defense testified yesterday thatwhen she examined the girl almost two months after the alleged attack, she found no evidence of rape.
But in response to a juror's question read aloud by Circuit Judge Luke K. Burns Jr., Dr. Martha Riggle said she would not expect to see any visible signs of rape several weeks after an attack.