RI woman says cop raped her at substation
The victim says that the officer was on-duty at the time of the incident
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — A woman who says she was raped by an on-duty Providence police officer testified Monday that the man came into her hospital room grinning and in uniform after the alleged attack in 2007.
The 22-year-old woman said she recalled seeing officer Marcus Huffman in the hours after the alleged rape, but told the jury that she could not remember how long he was there or anything else about the encounter.
"I thought it was him that I was with," she said. "I thought it was him I had got in the car with."
Prosecutors allege that Huffman, who is charged with first-degree sexual assault in Providence Superior Court, raped the woman in the bathroom of an empty police substation after offering her a ride outside a nightclub where she had been turned away for being too drunk.
Prosecutor Maureen Keough asked the woman if she had given any indication that she wanted to have sex with Huffman, and she said, "No." She testified that she identifies herself as a lesbian.
The woman wept as she saw a photograph of the bathroom where she says the rape happened in March 2007. The jury also saw surveillance images that the woman said showed her entering the building with Huffman - and later walking away by herself - and pictures of the clothing the woman said she had been wearing that night.
The woman has said Huffman offered her a ride home in his police cruiser after she was turned away by the club's bouncer. Huffman's lawyer, Robert Caron, suggested there was no hint of force or coercion on the images shown to the jury.
"You're walking on your own," he told her. "He's not even looking behind you. You're following him."
The Associated Press generally does not identify people who say they were victims of sex crimes.
The woman testified last week that she passed out and woke up in a bathroom stall with her pants undone and her undergarments removed. She then walked to her aunt's house nearby and was taken to the hospital.
Caron, the defense lawyer, did not give an opening statement to the jury, but tried to seize on apparent inconsistencies in the woman's testimony. He said she told hospital staff that she had woken up in Huffman's car with her clothes off - a statement she could not recall making.
The woman also said she was still drunk the morning after the alleged attack and could not recall what happened inside the substation, yet Caron noted she was coherent enough at the time to give a state police officer specific directions to the building.
The woman said she was familiar with the building because she used to deal drugs in the area and because she had relatives who lived in the neighborhood.
Huffman has been suspended without pay from the department.
His accuser is due back on the stand Tuesday morning.
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