Apr 19, 2016

"We treat rape victims differently than other victims...That's what we do. We put blame on them."




Deputy District Attorney Brie Bennett ended her initial closing argument by talking about the law.

"You heard a lot from the court about the law," said Ms. Bennett. "The law is what you are given by the court."

She said she was going to point out certain jury instructions, the jury should pay attention to while deliberating. She read the definition of reasonable doubt #220.

"It is the People's burden of proof to prove beyond a reasonable doubt," said Ms.Bennett. She stressed "abiding conviction."

"The fact that the defendant is denying what he did is not reasonable doubt."

"Why two independent women, who have never spoken to each other, don't know each other tell their friends and other people; relive the trauma again with law enforcement; come in a room full of strangers and relive the trauma again?"

"Lightning does not strike twice, unless it is a lightning rod. They have no reason to lie to you, that's unreasonable."

Ms. Bennett pointed out jury instruction number 226; evaluation of a witness' testimony.

"You heard the women testify; saw his behavior, saw tears streaming down their faces. You know they were telling the truth."

Ms. Bennett reminded them that "Ashleigh Groeling did not want to be here. She considers him her brother." She reminded the jury about other witnesses who testified. "They love him. They don't want him to get into trouble."

She reminded them of jury instruction number #30. "Who do you believe in this case? Who is telling the truth?"

She reminded them of jury instruction number 1190. "Conviction of a sexual assault crime may be based on the testimony of a complaining witness alone."

"In such cases, there is often no physical evidence; the issue is consent."

"We treat rape victims differently than other victims. If there is robbery victim, do we ask what were you wearing? I hear you have a history of giving money to  people. That's what we do rape victims, we blame them."

"There is no dispute that sex was had. Facts in this case are not in dispute; the issue here is consent. There either was consent or there was not."

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