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Sexual Assault Trial Starts With Defense Statement Allowed

A statement made by Henrique Marques to Danbury detectives investigating a 2010 sexual assault will be allowed into the trial as evidence.

Judge Robin Pavia started the sexual assault trial against Danbury resident Henrique Marques Tuesday after ruling that Marques's statement to Danbury police in 2010 was voluntarily given and it could be admitted into the trial.

Danbury Police became involved in this case when family members alerted police on Aug. 23, 2010 that the victim might have had sex with a man on Aug. 21. The girl was born on Oct. 19, 1994, and was 15 years old. Her father and brother told the police about the case. Marques was 23 years old at the time.

Police left a message for Marques, who called back and set up a meeting with Det. Rachael Halas. He got a ride to the police department from his girlfriend a day or two later. When there, he was interviewed by Halas and Det. Sgt. Mark Williams, but Halas did most of the questioning.

"She was very upfront and stern," Marques said during the motion to suppress hearing.

Did she threaten you, asked Jennifer Tunnard, Marques's attorney.

"She said we could do this the easy way or the hard way," Marques said. "I was very intimidated by her."

Halas has been a member of the Danbury Police Department since May 24, 1996, or 16 years. She works in the Youth Bureau, which investigates crimes against children.

In making her ruling on the defense motion to suppress Marques's statement, Judge Pavia ruled Marques was free during the interview to leave. He was free to ask for an attorney and he was free to not speak. She said police never put Marques in handcuffs and they did not restrain him physically or draw weapons. She denied the defense motion to suppress his statement.

In his statement to police, Marques said he and the girl had sex. The victim in the case, referred to as Jane Doe, also gave police a statement saying she'd had sex with Marques. Both participants were willing. The sex was willing, but the law says it is a crime because Marques, 23, was more than three years older than Jane Doe, who was 15 years old.

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