Testimony ends in rape trial
A 23-year-old victim was passed out drunk when city resident Kenneth Jerome Johnson, 37, allegedly raped her, but instead of reporting the incident to police the infuriated woman admitted she first sought vigilante justice.
“He totally violated me and he had to be dealt with,” the victim testified Monday.
Planning “to commit an act of physical violence,” she and her brother drove around the city looking for Johnson, who had fled on foot, according to the alleged victim.
“She was adamant that she could do more damage to him than what the police could help her with,” witness Athenia Smith testified.
When they couldn’t find Johnson, the victim finally called police.
Johnson now is on trial before President Judge Nancy L. Butts for rape of an unconscious victim, sexual assault and indecent assault.
The alleged rape occurred in the early morning hours of March 1, 2013, at Smith’s Locust Street residence. The defendant, the victim and two others came with Smith to her home after drinking at the Port Tavern, according to testimony.
The victim testified that she was not friends with Johnson but knew him through Smith.
Smith and Johnson once had a relationship but were no longer intimate, according to Smith. So when Johnson made sexual advances on her, Smith rejected him, she testified.
“I told him, ‘You gotta go. You gotta call a cab.’ He said, ‘Okay,’ ” Smith testified.
But instead of calling a cab, Johnson allegedly went downstairs and raped the unconscious victim, who was sleeping on Smith’s couch, according to testimony.
“On a scale of one to 10, with one being not, and 10 being very drunk, how drunk were you?” Assistant District Attorney Melissa Kalaus asked the victim.
“Twelve,” the victim said.
The defendant was not drunk at the time of the alleged rape, according to testimony.
When the victim awoke to Johnson having sex with her, she “went crazy” and began hitting him, she testified.
“He said, ‘I didn’t do anything. I was just trying to wake you up,’ ” according to the victim’s testimony.
The victim said she never would have consented to sex with Johnson.
“At that time he was sleeping with a family member of mine with hepatitis, so I’d never touch him,” the victim testified.
Before going to Evangelical Community Hospital to have a rape kit done, the victim took a bleach bath, according to her testimony.
“I felt disgusting. I didn’t know if he had protection,” the victim testified.
Johnson’s defense attorney Jeana A. Longo argued that the sex was consensual and that the victim’s loyalty to Smith prompted the rape allegation.
“(Johnson) has always known (the victim) as my niece. It absolutely would have upset me on both parties (if they had consensual sex),” Smith testified.
Smith, a friend of the victim’s mother, had known the victim since she was 12 years old, she testified. The victim and Smith were so close that she often referred to Smith as her aunt, she testified.
“Think about the relationship between (Smith) and (the victim) and what (the victim) stands to lose if she’s caught having sexual relations with the defendant. Ask yourself: Does this person have a motivation to lie?” Longo told the jury during opening statements.
The victim did not have injuries consistent with rape, according to Longo.
The victim maintained she had no sexual interest in Johnson.
Similarly, Smith testified that she never saw the victim flirting with Johnson or Johnson coming on to the victim.
Closing arguments are expected to begin this morning.