Defendant in rape trial says sex was consensual

February 07, 1993|By Traci A. Johnson | Traci A. Johnson,Staff Writer

Defendant Ronald Elliott Simms 2nd admitted to having consensual sex with the 21-year-old woman he is accused of raping and said he felt that the jury should know about the motivation behind his actions.

"As a man about to go into the military, I made a bet with myself that I guess was a little young," the 19-year-old man said on the witness stand Friday in the second day of his trial.

"I made a personal bet to see how many women I could sleep with before I went into the military," he said. "I wasn't really sexually attracted to her. She was just another girl."

Deputy State's Attorney Edward M. Ulsch asked Mr. Simms what he would do if a woman turned down his advances. "If they wanted me, fine," Mr. Simms said. "If not, well, hey, I already had a girlfriend."

The accuser, a Westminster woman separated from her husband, told police that Mr. Simms sexually assaulted her in the living room of her apartment on Aug. 23 while her infant slept in an adjacent room.

After Mr. Simms made the jury aware of his "bet," Assistant Public Defender Judson K. Larrimore continued to question Mr. Simms, the last witness in a day that spawned seemingly endless testimony from people who knew the Westminster woman and said she was not a truthful person.

The woman's estranged husband, called first as a state's witness and later for the defense, said he had some concerns about her story when she phoned him the night of the incident.

"After I thought about it, I wondered how he could have had his hand over her mouth and around her neck at the same time," the woman's estranged husband said.

Mr. Ulsch told the man that his wife had not testified in court that Mr. Simms' hand was in both places at the same time.

"That's what she told me," he said.

Other aspects of the woman's story were at issue.

She contended in testimony Wednesday that Mr. Simms repaired her VCR before the attack. That, she told the jury, was the reason she asked him into her apartment.

Mr. Simms maintained yesterday that he never touched the machine.

But there is no proof either way because Westminster police investigators testified that they did not dust the appliance for fingerprints.

"She said he only touched the buttons on the front of the machine," said Cpl. Wayne Mann, the Westminster City Police detective who investigated the rape charge.

Corporal Mann said his experience led him to believe that trying to lift fingerprints from surfaces such as the VCR buttons would be unsuccessful.

In addition, several witnesses testified that they had watched a movie on the woman's VCR the day before the alleged rape. The woman had testified earlier that the machine was broken and that Mr. Simms fixed it.

Mr. Larrimore said testimony is expected to end tomorrow morning.

The jury is expected to get the case for deliberation later in the day.

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