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Defense to Present Case Tuesday in Danbury Sexual Assault Trial

The victim testified Friday in the second-degree sexual assault case against Henrique Marques, and the defense will present its case Tuesday, when the trial resumes.

By the end of business Friday, the prosecution rested its case in the Aug. 21, 2010 sexual assault case against Henrique Marques.

The victim in the case, now 17, testified first for the prosecution. She admitted in her testimony the only reason she came to court was because the prosecutors subpoenaed her. After she testifed for the prosecution, she was cross examined by the defense.

"You were pretty upset earlier," Defense Attorney Jennifer Tunnard asked in her first question to the victim Friday, "when Mr. Sednesky asked you questions."

"Why were you upset?"

"I had to become detailed and that was slightly embarrassing," said the victim. Two years ago, she was 15 years old when the incident took place, and Marques was 23. The law of second-degree sexual assault involves the victim's age being between 13 and 16 years old, and the suspect being more than three years older.

During questioning, Tunnard got the victim to agree she initiated texting conversations with Marques and she initiated Facebook contact. She later admitted she initiated the sex.

Tunnard asked the victim what she wore to meet Marques on Aug. 21, 2010, and she said it was a navy blue tank-top dress. A photo of the victim in the dress was entered into the trial as evidence. The top is fairly low-cut.

"Who do you recognize that to be," Tunnard asked.

"Me."

"Is that a fair and accurate depiction of what you look like in that dress?"

"Yes."

Tunnard asked if when she dressed in 2010, did she generally look older than she was, and the victim agreed. "Did you tell him your age?"

"I thought I did."

"Did you want Henrique to be interested in you? Is that why you wore that dress?"

"Yes."

"You didn't want to spend all day talking to him?"

"I wouldn't have minded if we did that," the victim said.

"You had a plan that day?"

"I didn't wake up with a plan," she said. "What plan are you asking about?"

You asked him to sit next to you on the couch. You began kissing him. You wanted him to do that," Tunnard asked, and then she described the sexual acts between the two people. At each step, the victim usually answered yes.

The prosecution rested its case at the lunch break Friday. The jury was sent home until 9:45 a.m. Tuesday. The state's attorney and defense attorney agreed to talk to the judge Friday afternoon about what the jury instructions (charge to the jury) will be once the defense rests its case.

Earlier Friday, this is what happened in court.

State's Attorney Stephen Sedensky asked the victim if she left something out of the statement she gave to Danbury Police on Aug. 23, 2010.

"Yes," she said.

What did you leave out?

"I left out oral sex by him in the police statement," she said. "I didn't want him to get into trouble."

Earlier Friday, the victim spoke about text messages exchanged between her and Marques that surrounded their attempts to get together either Friday night or Saturday.

The messages say Marques skipped a trip to the Mohegan Sun Casino Friday night to spend part of the evening with the victim. The victim was waiting for her father to take a shower so she could slip out of the house. These texts were not read aloud in court, but in testimony she said she was texting friends to get a sleep-over so she could visit Marques.

I need new ideas for getting out of the house, the victim texted Marques Friday night, according to the records.

He said he was out of ideas, because he didn't have to run these kind of ploys since he was 15.

The victim said Marques offered her a joint he was smoking, but he stopped her from drinking a second beer Saturday morning.

bordwithbs September 29, 2012 at 12:23 PM
Predator or prey, there is a clear line not to be crossed here. How did a 15 year old child and a 23 year old adult end up in this mess? One cannot be "misled" or "misleading" without the consent of the other. This is a moral crime, not a violent crime, as it is reported. Is it our society and it's values on trial here?

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