Jun 15, 2016

"This is really a case about unchecked power."



Deputy District Attorney Brie Bennett started her remarks to the jury with, "These two women told you exactly what happened to them. Think of all they have gone through. "

Ms. Bennett stressed the point to the jury that the two alleged victims in this case had told their story over and over again to law enforcement, investigators and in front of strangers in open court.

"They have endured parts of cross examination and talked about parts of their life and most people would not want to talk about and they talked about the impact on their lives."

"Much of the facts of the case are not under dispute. You know where the defendant met them. Each of them took the stand. Ruby is the only witness in the country, presently."

"You know they are telling you the truth and did not deserve what the defendant did to them."

"I am going to talk about the law, its dry, I apologize, but it is important."

Using a power point representation, Ms. Bennett went over key concepts and certain jury instructions. This was effective since Judge Timothy Cissna had just read the same law minutes ago.

Ms. Bennett started with reasonable doubt. "This is what I have to prove. In this case, each crime has a number of elements. You have to believe I have proved each element beyond a reasonable doubt."

Jury instruction #226 on what to keep in mind when evaluating witness testimony is the first jury instruction she asked the jury to pay attention to; then jury instruction # 301, single witness testimony: "the testimony of only one witness can prove any fact"; then she mentioned jury instruction #1190, which is more specific to sexual assault cases: "conviction of a sexual assault crime may be based on the testimony of a complaining witness alone."

"Sexual assault takes place usually in private," said Ms. Bennett. "In this case you just don't have one witness, you have Ruby Louriero and DNA evidence."

The last jury instruction Ms. Bennett mentioned was jury instruction # 3517 about verdict forms.

"Because of the lessers in this case, it can get very confusing, so please pay attention to this instruction."

People's closing highlights:

"The defendant is a trained officer, in charge of supervising others, the defendant is trained how to testify, he used his training to pick these women."

"This is really a case about unchecked power. He didn't follow those checks, he thought he was above that. Please hold him accountable for what he did to these women."


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