Conflicting testimony heard in police officer's rape trial

January 19, 2007|By Julie Bykowicz | Julie Bykowicz,Sun Reporter

The supervisor of a Baltimore police officer who is on trial on a rape charge testified yesterday that the door to his office -- where the attack is said to have occurred -- was defective and could not have been closed, an account that differed from the alleged victim's testimony.

Jemini Jones, 29, is accused of coercing a woman to have sex with him in exchange for freedom from drug charges.

Sgt. Robert Smith took the stand as a defense witness shortly after Assistant State's Attorney JoAnn Stanton rested the prosecution's case. Defense attorney Janice L. Bledsoe asked Smith to describe the layout of his unit's office at the Southwestern District station house.

The 23-year-old woman, who The Sun is not naming because she is a victim of an alleged sex crime, said Jones had sex with her in the office Dec. 27, 2005.

In her testimony last week, the woman described the door to the office as being "cracked" open during her encounter with Jones. Smith testified yesterday that the door could not be closed without extreme effort. The door scraped against the floor when pulled more than about half shut, he said.

Defense testimony in the case, which began Jan. 13, is scheduled to continue today, and Baltimore Circuit Judge Wanda K. Heard warned jurors that they will be returning to court next week.

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