Beating Victim Disputes Story Told By Attacker

December 10, 1991|By Jay Apperson | Jay Apperson,Staff writer

Dawn Marie Gallis doesn't remember the night she was beaten and leftfor dead, dumped in a bed of leaves beneath an old door in a wooded area in Brooklyn Park. But she says the explanation given by her attacker, who was sentenced yesterday to 10 years in prison, can't be true.

David Lee Stanfield, 22, maintained that he picked up the 26-year-old woman outside a bar at closing time in Nov. 3, 1990, and droveto a secluded area, where they had sex. He says he assaulted Gallis during a fight prompted by her subsequent demand for $100.

"I don't think that was something I'd do," Gallis said yesterday after Stanfield was sentenced.

During the hearing, Assistant State's Attorney Ronald M. Naditch read from a letter written by the woman: "I was found nude, or half nude, under a door in a field, half dead. The way that I got that way was not because I consented to have sexwith a man I didn't know when I had a boyfriend, drug use (and) somecocaine in my body notwithstanding. It was because the man tried to take advantage of me and I fought that man and that's how I became injured.

"I was raped. That's what the fight was all about. I can't prove I was raped but that is how I feel."

Evidence in the case showed that both were intoxicated and that Gallis had used cocaine before the attack.

Defense attorney Donald Daneman said the woman was so drunk that workers at a tattoo parlor told her she would have to sober up before they would apply two tattoos to her leg.

The beating left Gallis, a data entry worker, in a coma for a month. Medical reports included in court files showed she suffered a fractured skull and a severe brain injury that left her right side temporarily paralyzed and her speech impaired.

Gallis said the brain injury left her unable to read or write, but she has regained those skills through therapy.

She also said the incident cost her her relationship with her boyfriend, who accused her of having sex with Stanfield the night of the attack.

Identified as a suspect three months after Gallis was found barely alive near the 4700 block of Belle Grove Road, Stanfield told police he punched the woman and, fearing she had been killedas she hit her head while falling, panicked and attempted to hide her body.

During yesterday's hearing, Stanfield apologized to Gallisand her family, adding, "I was scared. I didn't mean to do what I did."

But Naditch said a study by a forensic pathologist contradicted Stanfield's version of the incident. Dr. John E. Adams' reconstruction showed that after Gallis was punched, she fell, then stood or waspulled to her feet and was punched again.

Her head hit the road, causing the fractured skull and brain injuries.

In exchange for Stanfield's guilty plea in September to a charge of assault with intentto murder, prosecutors dropped charges of attempted murder, rape, assault and reckless endangerment and agreed he could be sentenced to no more than 13 years in prison.

Gallis said she thought the 10-year sentence was too lenient.

"I'm never going to be the same," she said. "He didn't get enough time. He should've gotten more than that.. . . I was halfway dead."

Before announcing his sentence, Circuit Judge Bruce C. Williams described the attack as a "very cruel and vicious crime of violence that luckily didn't result in a death."

"To leave her in a field under a door with the almost sure conclusion she would die is an awful thing to have done," he concluded.

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