Defense paints accuser as a liar Victim of alleged rape testifies in trial of former officer

April 09, 1997|By TaNoah Morgan | TaNoah Morgan,SUN STAFF

The woman former Anne Arundel County police Sgt. Michael D. Feeney is accused of raping and sodomizing is a liar, his lawyer tried to prove in Howard County Circuit Court yesterday.

It's a description she used for herself, defense lawyer T. Joseph Touhey said, pointing to medical records.

"Did you describe yourself to doctors as a sociopath and [tell them] that you started to lie as a young girl?" Touhey asked, referring to a September 1994 report from Anne Arundel Medical Center.

He added that she checked herself into Crownsville Hospital Center, a state mental hospital, after the evaluation and stayed there until January 1995.

The woman conceded that she checked herself into Crownsville but denied describing herself as a liar. She also said under a grueling cross-examination that she had tried to commit suicide two months before the incident.

Feeney, 41, is charged with raping the woman in December 1995, when she was a clerk at the Rite Aid drugstore in Parole Plaza in Annapolis and he was moonlighting as a security guard there.

The trial was moved to Howard County because of publicity in Anne Arundel.

Feeney, who was on the police force for 17 years, was convicted last year of attempting to sexually assault the manager of the same drugstore and sentenced to 18 months in prison. He remains free on appeal.

During the trial yesterday, the 40-year-old Caroline County woman, who refused to give her address, saying she feared retaliation, told jurors she and Feeney struck up a conversation the morning of the alleged attack after he noticed her Cherokee name on her name tag.

When she got off work about 3 p.m., Feeney offered her a ride home because she was wearing a cast from an injury suffered the day before. Instead, he took her to the security office behind the shopping center, locked the door and assaulted her, she said.

"I said, 'I don't want to do this.' I said, 'No, please, no.' He said, 'You want this,' " she said.

In addition to using medical records to try to discredit the woman, Touhey tried to turn to the advantage of the defense statements her acquaintances gave police.

In one statement, Janice Nutter, assistant manager at the Rite Aid, told officers she saw Feeney and the woman talking throughout the day of the alleged rape and that the woman was planning to meet Feeney to get a ride home after work.

When Touhey questioned her, however, Nutter said she had overheard another co-worker say the woman was getting a ride and that she, Nutter, didn't know how the woman was getting home.

Emily Green, a friend the woman told of the incident, told officers that the alleged rape occurred in a truck in a secluded area, not in the security office. When Touhey questioned her, Green said she had assumed that it happened in the truck. She said she never asked the woman for details.

"She was real upset, nervous and shaking," Greene said. "The first time she told me, I told her, 'Only give me as much as you feel comfortable.' I really did not press her for details. I thought she was too fragile."

The trial before Circuit Judge Diane O. Leasure is expected to continue through the week.

Pub Date: 4/09/97

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