Defense: hearing-impaired victim says sex wasn't consensual - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Defense: hearing-impaired victim says sex wasn't consensual

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A rape trial got underway at the Superior Court of Guam. Although it's her word against his, it's a unique case as the victim in the Edison Jr. Santos trial is hearing impaired.   

"No means no even if you can't say the word no," asserted prosecutor Gerald Henderson. Defendant Santos may not know American Sign Language, but according to Henderson, the victim clearly communicated she didn't want sexual relations with him. "The defendant didn't accept no. he forced her onto a bed. He held down her arms. She struggled. She'll testify that he was much stronger than she is," he said.   

Santos and the 27-year-old woman were housemates in Dededo. Although court documents state Santos reported the two were in a consensual relationship, the victim reports otherwise - that in December and twice in January, Santos raped her when she was alone in the house and while the other roommates were either at work or off-island.

The victim testified today. Through an ASL interpreter she was able to detail the three alleged rapes: "two roommates were gone. Edison looked at her body and her face. She kept looking for other people in the house. He kept wanting sex. I tried to fight him off. Edison locked door forced himself. Be quiet. Be quiet. Be quiet. Secret. Secret. Don't tell."

"She didn't tell anyone. She'll testify she was afraid. And then that Monday, January 26, a third time. Even though she had that injury from a couple of days before, this was the day she finally communicated to her coworker."

It was after the third rape she finally sought help of an interpreter and went to the Dededo Precinct. She was then taken to healing hearts for an interview and pelvic exam. The victim stated today she was afraid to get pregnant and reported pain in her private parts.

According to Henderson in opening statements, there were injuries to the victim's private parts.

During cross-examination by Defense Attorney Howard Trapp, the victim stated "How am I gonna voice? How am I gonna voice? Who's going to believe me?"

She also stated that she had told her roommates, but because they were related to Santos, they accused her of wanting to put him in jail.

Trapp reserved defense's opening statements until the conclusion of the government's case in chief.

Trial will resume on Wednesday.

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