Gillette again says woman was not drunk during sex

May 12, 1994|By Sheridan Lyons | Sheridan Lyons,Sun Staff Writer

Lawrence Allen Gillette yesterday insisted again that the woman he has been convicted of raping was not drunk on Aug. 27, 1992, and consented to sex with him at his Towson apartment.

Mr. Gillette was testifying in Baltimore County Circuit Court in a $55 million civil lawsuit against him by the 20-year-old Harford County woman.

A jury is to hear instructions from Judge J. William Hinkel and closing arguments from the attorneys today. The judge yesterday denied a motion by defense attorney Margaret A. Mead to dismiss counts of battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

In a criminal prosecution last year, Mr. Gillette was convicted of second-degree rape and received probation before judgment from Judge Thomas J. Bollinger, who drew criticism after he attacked Maryland law that makes sexual intercourse with an intoxicated woman second-degree rape while ignoring the man's level of intoxication.

Mr. Gillette, 45, of the first block of E. Chesapeake Ave., Towson, said yesterday he saw himself as a "fellow employee" in his former job as an assistant theater manager, not the boss of the victim or other young women he took to his home and to bars in 1991 and 1992.

He disputed testimony by three of the woman's friends Tuesday that she was so drunk on Aug. 27, 1992, that he had to half-carry her to his home and put her in his bed because they couldn't carry her down to the living room where the women usually slept after a night of drinking.

Mr. Gillette said the woman had about three drinks, complained of stomach pain that sounded to him like heartburn, and was walking and talking normally. After walking her to his apartment, he said, he left her in his bathroom and returned to the bar, where he drank until closing.

Mr. Gillette said he went to bed after 3 a.m. and put his arm around the woman, who "cuddled up to me," arousing him and her. "We had sex," he said, although he was too intoxicated to complete intercourse.

On cross-examination, plaintiff's attorney Raymond M. Atkins Jr. pressed Mr. Gillette about his testimony that he was concerned about the woman's drinking. "I told her to drink responsibly," Mr. Gillette said, adding later, "I don't know; I guess I was being irresponsible."

Kim Dollinger, 28, a friend of Mr. Gillette, testified that the woman "just walked out" of the bar after complaining of "a tummy ache." In the past, she said she had seen the woman "sloppy drunk" and "going up to guys sort of tease-ish."

In other testimony yesterday, an expert in blood-alcohol levels estimated that, in the "worst case," the woman was "significantly impaired" with a level of 0.13 -- above the state's 0.10 standard for driving while intoxicated. Using the best figures for the defense, Dr. John E. Adams calculated a 0.06 level.

When Mr. Atkins cited testimony that the woman may have had seven drinks and couldn't be awakened, Dr. Adams placed his estimate "in the neighborhood of 0.25 and beyond."

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