Rape trial unfolds as accuser takes the stand

NORWICH – A Smithville man charged with rape was confronted Monday by his 48-year-old accuser when she offered nearly two and a half hours of testimony in county court.

Stanley R. Whitman, 50, Smithville Flats, is charged with first degree rape, sexual abuse, criminal sexual act, and second degree assault.

Assistant District Attorney Stephen Dunshee and Assistant Public Defender Lisa Natoli painted two distinctly different stories in their opening arguments.

The prosecution said that on the night of the incident in March of 2007, the victim was involved in a fight with her boyfriend and walked to a nearby bar, Seeber’s, in Smithville, to find a ride home.

On cross examination, the woman admitted frequenting the bar “a couple of times a week” in the months prior to the incident, and said she was intoxicated at the time. Dunshee pointed out that the woman’s unstable emotional state combined with a degree of intoxication made her an ideal victim, while Natoli claimed that it made her “an alcoholic woman scared to go home to her angry boyfriend.”

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