Victim in sex assault case testifies at pre-trial hearing

Victim in sex assault case testifies at pre-trial hearing


AUBURN - The victim of a July 2001 alleged sexual assault gave conflicting stories in court Friday, but still maintained Dale Dean Sr. abducted her while she walked home from a bar two summers ago and then assaulted her at gunpoint.

The 23-year-old Rochester woman's name is not being released due to the nature of the charge against Dean. She did testify at the pre-trial hearing that the man who abducted her on July 8, 2001 was 43-year-old Dean.

In February, Dean was sentenced to 116 to 130 years in Wyoming after being convicted of kidnapping a woman there at gunpoint while she was walking home from a bar early in the morning and forcing her to have sex with him inside a van. He was connected to the Auburn case through the Rochester woman's Social Security card that police in Wyoming found in his possession.

Dean is set to go to trial before Cayuga County Court Judge Mark Fandrich Jan. 6 on charges of first-degree robbery, first-degree sexual abuse, second-degree kidnapping and first-degree sodomy.

The judge granted a motion by Dean's attorney, Michael Bass, to have his client removed from the room while the alleged victim testified Friday. She related that she was at Spirit's Tavern until shortly after 2 a.m. with some friends on the morning of the incident when she decided to go home. She left the bar, apparently after not drinking too much, and was planning on driving home.

"I had three beers before we went there at about 9 o'clock," she said on the stand. "And I had one there. I didn't need to drink, just wasn't thirsty."

Dean approached her shortly after 2 a.m. while she was walking along Genesee Street, she said, adding that street lights gave her ample opportunity to identify Dean.

"I didn't study his face, but I did look at him," she said, later adding that she spent about 30 minutes with Dean in the car.

In her statement to police, she said she was abducted while walking on South Lewis Street.

"He told me to get in the car and he walked me around to the front passenger side of the car," according to her statement. "He opened the door and I got in and sat down. Once he got into the car, he told me to turn around. I had my knees on the front passenger floor and I was facing the back of the car."

Besides the woman, Auburn Police Detective Paul Casper took the witness stand Friday. Casper testified that the woman picked Dean's mug shot out of photographs of more than 40 other men.

After asking her if she valued her life, he ordered her to perform oral sex on him.

"I was in shock…very, very upset," she said on the stand.

In conflicting statements on the stand, she said "Yes, he did" have facial hair, she then said "I don't know, I don't remember."

Bass said due to the circumstances that night, her ability to identify Dean from photographs of 41 other men appears questionable.

"There are clearly some discrepancies in her identification," Bass said following the hearing. "Now, she says he doesn't have hair, and actually she says he did have hair. She admitted she did have some intoxicating beverages. She admitted it was night. She admitted there was some sort of weapon involved, which I would say would probably draw her attention away from identifying my client."

Bass is asking to have the identification declared inadmissible at the trial. The woman was shown six separate photo displays, none with Dean's photo, before she saw the final photo display with Dean's mug shot.

"Detective Casper admitted on cross examination that Dale Dean is the only individual in the photo array who matches the description that he was given by the alleged victim in this case," Bass said.

"I'm not trying to make this victim look like a liar or anything," he said. "I think that she may very well have experienced a traumatic event, and the bottom line is, she's just not able to make a reasonable identification as to who it was that did this to her."

Fandrich will rule on whether or not he will allow the photo array identification in the trial in about a week.


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