Samantha Mears, allegedly a 19-year old lunatic in Montana, has been arrested and charged with suprising her ex-boyfriend, holding him hostage with a machete, and forcing him to have sex with her. He says she had broken in, and when he came home she confronted him from behind and held him hostage with the machete. She then made him lie on the bed, take his pants off, and she got on top of him and initiated sexual intercourse against his will. He called police, pretending to call his friend “Doug”, and police came and arrested her. She claims to have been kidnapped, but the man provided a photo of her on the bed with the machete, and a bite mark on his arm.
There’s almost certainly something more going on here, though there is apparently a history of violence from her to him. However, they did not charge her with sexual assault (rape) or burglary, which would seem to be indicated by the allegations. Also, they say the couple had been dating for 7 years, which is a pretty long time for a 19-year old. So, some things sound fishy, to say the least. Regardless, it’s a pretty spectacular allegation.
Famed comedian Bill Cosby goes back on trial this week for charges that he drugged and sexually assaulted a woman several years ago. Since the charges were filed, dozens of other woman have come forward to allege that Cosby had similar conduct with them. The case went to trial 10 months ago, and ended with a hung jury. Even though Cosby’s attorneys managed to avoid a conviction at that trial, Cosby now has a new legal team lead by Tom Mesereau, who has handled such high-profile clients as Michael Jackson.
The trial will be quite different this time, as the new attorneys seem more aggressive, and the evidence has substantially changed. For the first trial, the court allowed one other accuser to testify about her experience with Cosby. This time around, the court has permitted up to five other accusers to testify. Last time around, the attorneys were able to cast enough doubt on the “similar fact evidence” witness that the jurors later said they completely disregarded her. It will be very difficult for them to disregard five, or to demonstrate that they are financially motivated. One of the possible witnesses is model Janice Dickinson, who has sued Cosby for defamation for attacking her claims. It’s unclear why the judge decided that five other people can testify in this trial when they couldn’t in the last one, but it appears to make the situation far more grave for Cosby.
Generally, a retrial favors the prosecution… and probably more so when the judge permits a substantial amount of evidence that was previously excluded. We will find out the final outcome when the trial concludes, probably not for about a month.
I’m a trial nerd… probably moreso than even the average lawyer. I watched the “The People v. O.J. Simpson” like I’d have to write a book report on it. My ultimate wish would be to be able to watch jury deliberations take place, that’s ultimately the room where it happens. But I like other trial experiences, from sitting in on live trials whenever I can, to all kinds of lawyer books and TV shows. That’s why I was pleased to be introduced to this article from the prosecutors of one of the Baylor rape cases (link).
Convicted Rapist Sam Ukwauchu
These prosecutors go into great detail their preparation and handling of the case, from the pre-filing investigation, to how their work paid off when the case went to trial. I recommend it for all criminal trial attorneys, and it should be required reading for those who prosecute SVU cases. I found the story via Deadspin, who has had lots of coverage or the Baylor sex scandal that brought down not only the football coach, but also the AD and the President, Ken Starr (yes, THAT Ken Starr). Congrats to these attorneys on a hard-fought win on a challenging, high-profile case.
TDCAA via Deadspin.