Retrial brings out sex crimes' sordid details once more for victim
For the second time in five years, a rape victim struggled to tell jurors her tale of having sex as a 13-year-old with a 32-year-old man while her mother encouraged the act in exchange for drugs and alcohol.
Now 19 years old and a mother herself, the victim tearfully took the stand Thursday in the retrial of Anthony Dewayne Smith, now 38. Convicted of raping and sodomizing the girl in 2000, Smith was granted a new trial by the Oregon Court of Appeals earlier this year. Jurors will hear closing arguments in the case today in Jackson County Circuit Court.
The girl's mother, Linda Hill, told her that Smith really liked her, thought she was cute and wanted to do stuff with her, jurors heard Thursday. Hill then told her daughter to go take a shower and instructed the girl to borrow her lingerie.
I can still see everybody's face, the victim sobbed, recalling the alleged crime six years later.
Hill performed oral sex on Smith, instructing her daughter to watch and pay attention, before subjecting the girl to intercourse with the older man, according to the victim's testimony. Hill told her that she wanted Smith to come back to her east Medford apartment because he had a car and could take them places, the victim testified. Prosecutor Judi Harper argued Tuesday that Hill was motivated by drugs and alcohol.
— I didn't want to say anything, the victim said of her feelings about reporting the crime.
I didn't want to tell what happened. I didn't want my mom to go away.
Convicted in 2000 of rape and other sex crimes in the case, Hill remains in prison. Two other men, 36-year-old Lamar Esquire McKinzie and 45-year-old Johnny Lee Carter, also were convicted of raping the victim and sentenced to prison.
Testifying in his own defense Thursday, Smith denied all the charges and told jurors that the girl approached him in her mother's lingerie as he was getting ready for bed. She sat down next to him, put her arm around him and positioned his arm around her waist, Smith said. Hill had invited Smith to spend the night on her couch after a night of partying.
Several defense witnesses told the court that the victim said she had sex with only two men on the night of the alleged crime. That testimony showed inconsistencies in the girl's story, argued Smith's attorney, Don Scales, in his opening statement. She also didn't report the crime immediately and tried to run away from home, according to court testimony.
This is a young woman who would run away, who would lie, who would do anything she could to avoid punishment, Scales said.
Jackson County District Attorney Mark Huddleston has said the case is being retried on a technicality. Appellate judges said Circuit Court Judge Patricia Crain should not have allowed jurors in 2000 to view the victim's videotaped interview with police because Harper failed to provide notice of the evidence 15 days before trial.
Reach reporter Sarah Lemon at 776-4487, or e-mail Retrial brings out sex crimes? sordid details once more for victim"firstname.lastname@example.org.