Is Edison Santos guilty of rape?
It's now up to the jury to decide whether to convict Edison Santos of rape. Whose word will they believe?
Even if they were dating, is Edison Santos guilty of rape? Prosecutor Gerald Henderson believes so. He maintained, as he has all trial, "No means no. Word, gesture, sign, it could a struggle. It could be pushing away. It could be screams of pain. It could be blood. No means no even if the victim is the defendant's girlfriend."
Earlier this week the 27-year-old victim testified and with the help of an American Sign Language interpreter, detailed three occasions, once in December and twice in January, when her housemate Edison Santos raped her. As a result, Santos was charged with three counts of first degree criminal sexual conduct and three counts of 2nd degree criminal sexual conduct.
The victim reported she feared the defendant which is why it took her so long to report it. She also testified she was afraid of getting pregnant. She was taken to healing hearts where she was interviewed and examined and a nurse testified the victim sustained pain in her privates as well as observed blood.
Upon his arrest, Santos reported to police he and the victim were in a dating relationship and the sex consensual. Santos testified earlier this week, and with the help of a Tagalog interpreter, recalled more than three occasions he and the victim had sex. On those occasions, she initiated the sex.
According to defense counsel Howard Trapp, there was enough evidence to acquit Santos of the charges because of text messages between the two in which she stated, "Hi. I wish want baby pregnant." the court however denied the motion for acquittal.
In closing arguments today, Trapp contends that the victim had motive to lie about the alleged rapes - that the victim and Santos engaged in consensual sex but the victim later revealed she was married to a man in the Philippines. Even if Santos forced himself on the victim, Trapp contends she could've avoided being in the house alone with the defendant. "Was she physically helpless? Absolutely not," Trapp asserted. "She couldn't say in so many words don't do this or don't do that because she is deaf, but on the other hand, like anybody else she could fight back, push him away, or she could scream. We know that from the evidence that she can scream."
Trapp also recalled the victim's initial report to police in which she describes the defendant's private parts. Her detailed description is not consistent with rape.
Jurors are now in deliberations.