03/30/2010

Woman denies consensual relations with RI officer

Officer Marcus Huffman is accused of raping the woman in a police substation

Associated Press

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — A woman who says she was raped by an on-duty Providence police officer denied a lawyer's assertion Monday that she had a willing sexual encounter with the man, saying she's a lesbian and doesn't have sex with men.

Defense lawyer Robert Caron suggested while questioning the accuser that she fabricated a story about being sexually assaulted because she didn't want her girlfriend to know that she had had consensual sex with a man. In response, the woman said: "There was nothing consensual about it."

"I'm a lesbian," she added. "I would never consent to something like that."

Officer Marcus Huffman is accused of raping the woman in a police substation in March 2007, then showing up to take a report at the hospital where the woman was receiving medical care. He has been suspended without pay and is on trial in Providence Superior Court for first-degree sexual assault.

The Associated Press generally does not identify people who say they were victims of sex crimes.

Caron did not make an opening statement, but has slowly begun unspooling a consensual-sex defense to the jury.

He challenged the 22-year-old woman's testimony that Huffman ordered her into his marked police cruiser after she was turned away from a Providence nightclub for being too drunk.

"You were intrigued and you wanted to see how this was going to go," Caron said.

The woman said she trusted Huffman and that she got into the car because she felt she had to follow a police officer's orders. She denied that she went with him because of an interest in sex, saying, "He's not even attractive. He's a man."

The woman has said Huffman offered her a ride home but instead drove her to an empty police substation and raped her in a bathroom there. She said she does not remember exactly what occurred, only that she woke up with pants unzipped and her undergarments removed and walked to her aunt's house in the early morning hours of March 18, 2007.

But Caron argued that she made up a story about being sexually assaulted because she showed up at her aunt's house after 3 a.m. and had some "explaining to do about where you had been and what you had been doing."

"I didn't have to explain nothing," the woman replied. "I didn't do nothing wrong."

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