Alleged Rape Victim’s Friend Gives Graphic Testimony

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In the third day of testimony in a trial for a Gallipolis man facing allegations that he raped an Ohio University student, witnesses who saw the woman on the night in question, as well as medical personnel and police officers, all spoke to the jury.

Levi Canterbury, 23, is being tried in Athens County Common Pleas Court in front of a jury of six men and six women on an allegation of rape. Wednesday, the prosecution called to the stand additional witnesses to testify against Canterbury.

The alleged victim friend, who goes by Maddie, corroborated the story of the complaining witness about drinking 100-proof vodka in her dorm before going to a party, where they got separated. The complaining witness was questioned throughout the day Tuesday.

After not finding her friend when the party ended on Sept. 10, 2011, Maddie said she called her multiple times. When she arrived back at her dorm, Maddie said she finally connected with the woman.

“Her voice was shaky, she seemed scared and sort of incoherent in a way that she was feeling rushed,” Maddie told the jury on Wednesday. “Like it was really urgent that she get to where I was.”

When the alleged victim came to the dorm, Maddie saw that she wasn’t wearing pants and that her underwear was bloody, she said.

“I was really scared and I just knew something had happened to her,” she told the court.

Her friend wouldn’t talk about what had happened. She shed her clothes and immediately went to take a shower, according to Maddie.

The woman didn’t say why she wanted to shower. Maddie said she was not asked to throw away the underwear by her friend, that she made that decision on her own.

“I knew she was never going to use them again,” Maddie said on the stand.

Maddie began to cry when talking about the next few hours, when she said they went to sleep, then her friend told her over breakfast that she had been raped.

On cross-examination, Maddie told defense attorneys she doesn’t remember her friend telling nurses at the hospital that she thought she had been drugged, but she does remember the woman telling her specifically that she had been raped.

The next day Maddie and a resident assistant took the woman to O’Bleness Memorial Hospital, where she was seen by a doctor and called Maddie in when a sexual assault nurse examiner discussed with her the idea of conducting a rape kit.

“The procedure is … you stand on the floor and take all your clothes off and the doctor would swab all the places that he had touched her and places he hadn’t touched her,” Maddie said. “ (The alleged victim) thought it was really invasive.”

Maddie testified that she told her friend to do “whatever was comfortable for her,” and that her friend decided not to go through with it.

When the woman decided she would go to police, Maddie said she crawled into a dumpster to retrieve the bloody underwear she’d thrown away. After that night, Maddie testified she kept a close eye on her friend.

“I felt responsible for her for the rest of the year,” Maddie said. “We didn’t go out much, she didn’t want to be around Court Street too much.”

James Schulz, a registered nurse who was a sexual assault nurse examiner for the hospital, said he explains the procedure to all patients, but does “make every effort to forget every patient I see,” he said in court.

He tells every patient a rape kit takes a minimum of four hours to complete, but of the very few rape victims that come to the emergency room, the majority go through with the procedure.

The alleged victim testified Tuesday that she didn’t want to feel “vulnerable in front of a stranger” when asked why she declined the rape kit.

Schulz said patients are allowed to refuse any procedure that is a part of the rape kit, including swabs of most areas of the body including the vagina, urine samples, photographs and other evidence collections.

“But I would have tried to persuade any victim to allow me to do the entire exam,” Schulz testified.

According to the medical reports read in court by Schulz, the doctor prescribed the woman STD-prevention antibiotics. The doctor who saw the woman has since died.

Tests for date-rape drugs were also ordered, but the results were not included in the records, Schulz said.

Also testifying Wednesday were law enforcement officers who came into contact with Canterbury the night of the alleged rape.

Jurors listened to a 911 tape of Canterbury calling in to report a “very, very inebriated” female he had just dropped off on Court Street.

Also in the call, he tells a dispatcher that the woman was bleeding and that he tried to find “a pencil or something” to help tend to the wound, but only noticed the bleeding when she had left the vehicle.

Officer Jeffrey Emerick was called to respond to a female with “no pants on and scratches on her back.” While responding to the call, Emerick said dispatch told him a man later identified as Canterbury was attempting to flag him down.

Emerick said he was told by Canterbury that he’d dropped off a woman, explaining that the woman was bleeding from “trauma blood.”

Emerick said he didn’t notice any blood on Canterbury, when asked about in cross-examination. Officer Adam Claar testified that he was told of the blood on Canterbury’s seat and that Canterbury showed him where the blood was and that he was going to clean the seat.

Canterbury didn’t seem agitated or nervous, Claar said, but followed the officer when he left to check on a call of an intoxicated woman.

“I don’t recall telling (Canterbury) to come down or follow,” Claar said.

The trial continues on Thursday.