• Last modified 3155 days ago (Nov. 3, 2010)


Defense motions in rape trial denied

Staff writer

Defendant Lora Gay was in handcuffs Monday in the Marion County Courtroom for a motion hearing.

Gay is facing two counts of rape, and one count each of aggravated criminal sodomy, aggravated kidnapping, criminal threat, and battery, stemming from events occurring over a six-day period around June 23 in Peabody.

Defense attorney Gary Price argued for two motions that were both denied by Eighth Judicial District Chief Judge Michael Powers.

Price requested the 14-year-old victim undergo a psychological evaluation.

He contended the victim had inconsistencies in four separate statements.

In the original interview conducted by Peabody Police Chief Bruce Burke the victim did not mention Gay.

In a second statement given to Social and Rehabilitation Services in Newton, the victim said Gay was present at the home but was not in the same room as alleged attackers Terry Bowen and Kenneth Frederick during the incidents.

In a second interview with Burke, she said Gay stood in the doorway but did not participate in the criminal acts. In a final statement with Burke, she said Gay picked her up and transported her to a bedroom, held her, and threatened her during the crime.

Price ventured two different theories about the inconsistencies. He alleged they were based on violations committed by Burke in interviews. He cited a portion of the third interview when Burke asked the victim if Gay held her, to which she flatly responded, “no.” The answer changed in a follow-up interview six days later.

The attorney also thought the inconsistencies could have been caused by potential psychological problems, which is why he said he was requesting the examination.

“It’s a question of whether psychological issues could have lead to a change in veracity,” Price said.

Prosecuting attorney, assistant attorney general C.W. Klebe argued that the change in statements was perfectly logical based on the trauma to which the victim was subjected.

“Those who have not been through an attack cannot understand the mind of someone who has,” he said. “Courts have said that lapses in time are an unfortunate circumstance of these cases.”

Klebe also dismissed the allegations that the victim has psychological issues that could cloud her version of events.

“I would highlight that he said ‘potential’ psychological issues,” Klebe said.

He also thought forcing the victim to participate in a psychological exam was unnecessary stress.

“The reasons are not compelling enough to subject the victim to psychological evaluation,” Klebe said.

Powers was not convinced that psychological issues were in any way related to the victim’s statements and denied the motion.

The second motion was for a bill of particulars. The defense requested the motion to clarify which days within the six-day window were the days on which the events occurred.

Price said preparing an alibi for Gay was nearly impossible, although Gay has described her version of what occurred during those six days. He said he had witnesses who had seen Gay on June 23.

Klebe countered saying the reason the state had not cited a specific date was because the victim could not remember when the act occurred.

“The victim should not have to be subjected to cross examination even though she cannot remember that date,” he said.

Powers denied the motion.

The prosecution’s motion to use a video deposition for witness testimony was approved. For a video deposition, both attorneys are present and can examine and cross-examine the witness, but a jury is not present. The deposition does not require open court and can be conducted in an office or some other location.

Gay will face a four-day jury trial beginning Nov. 29.

Last modified Nov. 3, 2010