Marine charged with rape tells jury of party Policeman testifies about the arrest

March 04, 1993|By Alan J. Craver | Alan J. Craver,Staff Writer

A man accused of raping a 17-year-old Columbia girl told police the night of his arrest that he met a girl at a party, took her home and ended up in handcuffs, according to testimony at his trial.

James Alexander Page Jr., a 27-year-old Marine sergeant from Greenbelt, is on trial in Howard Circuit Court this week on 30 criminal counts, including 10 counts of first- and second-degree rape.

Sergeant Page was arrested in the early morning hours of Aug. 19 as he slept in a car parked at an industrial park off Broken Land and Snowden River parkways in Columbia.

Officer Robert Del Erva said Sergeant Page was naked as he slept in in the passenger seat of a blue Toyota. "He said that he had gone to a party," said Officer Del Erva, who drove Sergeant Page to the Police Department after his arrest. "He said he drove a girl home and the next thing he knew he was in handcuffs."

The officer was one of several witnesses to testify in the trial of Sergeant Page yesterday. The trial continues today.

The victim testified Tuesday that she met Sergeant Page during a party at a friend's house in Columbia on Aug. 18. She admitted that she drank about two glasses of vodka at another friend's house before going to the party.

As her 1 a.m. curfew approached, the girl said, Sergeant Page offered to drive her home. Instead, Mr. Page took the girl to a former commuter parking lot off U.S. Route 29, where he became violent and made demands for sex, she said.

The couple left the lot and drove to the industrial park, where the defendant forced the girl to have intercourse and perform sex acts with him inside and outside the car, she said. Sergeant Page repeatedly struck her and threatened to kill her and her family, the victim testified.

Under cross-examination yesterday, the girl testified that after Sergeant Page fell asleep she fled and ran to her boyfriend's house, nearly two miles away. Asked why she didn't go to the home of a friend who lived near the industrial park, the girl replied: "I wanted to be with my boyfriend. I wanted to be comforted by my boyfriend."

Susan Ongert, the mother of the victim's boyfriend, testified that the girl was heaving and crying hysterically when she got to her home on Fruitgift Place. Ms. Ongert said the girl was afraid of calling police because of Sergeant Page's alleged threats. "She was concerned that if she told anybody, he would kill everybody she loved," the witness said.

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