Previously… The Assistant Attorney for Manhattan who had this case and Cynthia waived the jury trial at Maggie’s recommendation. It would bring the case to trial earlier, June 12 and shorten its length. Attorney Brad Adams made insinuations that Chad was at a LGBT friendly establishment. However the only witness who thought he recognized Chad, contradicted his own testimony under cross examination.
Come the trial, Tanya a friend of Kim’s identified Chad as being the person they found over Kim when they found Kimberly. She did not personally see inappropriate handling of Kim by Chad. “She was bleeding and he had her blood on himself. How else could that have happened?” She confessed, “Yes, he denied hurting her, but we caught him. I wasn’t surprised he made up a story.”
Maggie says, “Chad said and several footprints substantiate he responded her yell and came running over a hill, some seventy-five feet away. I want to ask, ‘How far away were you and your group from Kim when she got raped?’”
Tanya said, “She was no further than 40” feet from the next person. She heard the scream for help. That was when we went running to find her.”
Maggie says, “That was Chad who yelled then for help, as he did not feel safe in leaving her alone. Your friend Tina said she had not recognized where the sound first came from because she did not recognize it as Kim’s voice.” Maggie poses a question, “Why did you not hear Kim’s first scream, nor recognize the call for help as being from Kim?”
Tanya says, “She did not answer her phone and then we heard the yell for help. I don’t believe it was Chad.”
Maggie says, “But you’re not sure are you?”
Tanya didn’t answer and Maggie did not insist she answer. But Maggie did ask, “Why are most of the other students not willing to testify?”
“They’re like a lot of people in New York City. There’s always a threat of a lawsuit against them and me for what happens; like what Chad is claiming.”
Maggie says, “Do you acknowledge that Chad underwent a life-changing surgery for something he professed not to do?” Tanya became angry and her response was no longer calm. “He did it and it would have been too much trauma to put Kim through in identifying her rapist in court. Rape victims are usually victimized again in the courts and press. We were sure she would identify him when she woke from being raped. He was taken away before the police were there, but we did leave his jeans for evidence. Both his and her blood were on his jeans.”
Maggie says, “There was also blood from a third person, whom Chad said he tackled away from Kimberly. If that is true, doesn’t that make him a Good Samaritan and a victim of injustice on your part?” Maggie stopped her questions to Tanya.
Tanya did respond, “If that was how it was yes, but we didn’t think so.”
Maggie says, “That sounds more like an opinion, not facts.” Then there was a break for lunch.
During that time, Tina the girl closest to Kim told the Manhattan Attorney that she was now afraid to testify.
The Medical Examiner, who posed as a surgeon when Kim and Chad met in the hospital, was then to be called as the next witness. He did a good job of presenting the case the prosecutor wanted. It temporarily helped the prosecuting attorney’s case.
Maggie asked, “Dr. Johnson, do you have medical credentials to practice medicine at the Hospital where the meeting of Kim and Cynthia took place?”
“Numerous times I have been there as the medical examiner.”
“But you are not certified by the hospital to practice medicine there. Thus your posing as a doctor in a patient’s room is a deception is it not?”
“I never said I was Kim’s doctor, nor did Dr. Campbell.”
Maggie says, “As a medical examiner are you not an officer of the court?” He acknowledges he was. “Records show that charges had already been filed by the Prosecutor. Did you remind Cynthia her rights?”
Dr. Johnson says, “Chad was Mirandized as he was taken from the basement and brought there to the hospital.”
Maggie says, “So you’re saying you did not tell her of her rights nor consider that she might have been in shock when they first found her in the basement?”
“I was not there nor was I asked to offer my opinion on that,” he said.
Maggie says, “It was recorded that his rights were spoken to her, but there is no record like normally that she responded. Is that a clerical error or because she did not answer?”
Dr. Johnson says, “I was not there, so I cannot tell you.”
Maggie retorts, “But in preparing for this trial, you did read the records didn’t you?”
“I did but I did not notice that as a problem.”
Maggie says, “But as a thorough medical examiner that should have raised a red flag for you about her state of mind and ability to answer. When you were in with Kim and Cynthia. You did not check on the state of Cynthia’s ability to reason.”
The Prosecutor objected that Ms. Rush made a statement and not a question. When the Judge upheld the objection, Maggie says, “I withdraw the statement and apologize to the court, your Honor.
The Prosecutor tried to submit the Examiner’s transcript of that meeting. Maggie rose in opposition. “Your Honor, I object to this being submitted as evidence as it came off of a recording that the Examiner and the Prosecution have been unwilling to produce to substantiate its accuracy.”
The Judge said, “Until the accuracy of this transcript can be substantiated it will not be accepted as item ‘B’. Objection sustained!”
The trial went for another hour before being stopped for the night. But the judge did have Cyndi taken into custody for the duration of the trial. Cyndi began to cry as the bailiff took her away. She was required to change out of her clothes into an orange jumpsuit. She was placed in a holding cell within the women’s lockup facility. Somehow, who she was had made the round of the cell block and the taunting began and lasted well into the night.
“Too bad you lost your manhood, it would become very useful after your conviction.” Cynthia was feeling very vulnerable in jail. She became sick to her stomach. With different voices from different directions, she kind of became disoriented and little dizzy.
Lawyer Maggie Rush had a simple dress for Cyndi to wear the next day. Her comforting words and those of her mother and sister had a little effect after she told them about her frightening night.
The first bit of relief and hope came with Judge Bradley deciding that the written document of the Medical Examiner would not be received as evidence. The Assistant Attorney objected to that, stating the Judge was disabling his case. Judge Bradley became upset, “You better have better evidence and documentation than that. It is your responsibility to do so when prosecuting a case.”
A police officer was called to the stand to testify. His testimony to the Assistant Attorney was, “When we arrived in response to the 911 call. The defendant said, ‘He was sorry and embarrassed for what had happened. When I asked if he was sorry for the raped woman. He said yes and asked if she was alright. I said, “She was now safe, but I don’t think she feels alright. That is when the paramedics arrived and soon took him to the nearest hospital.” The officer’s testimony would be damaging if it couldn’t be refuted. Cyndi for one had become more nervous.
Maggie said, “Officer Renwick, I do not doubt Chad now Cynthia had sympathy for Kimberly Hopkins. But I want to ask you, how you and the other officers found Chad.”
Renwick wants to laugh and still has a smile on his face when he speaks. “Well, he was lying on a makeshift table and looked pathetic without even a sheet to cover himself. Though there were bandages. We were pretty sure his genitals had been removed. After they left for the hospital we found a piece of flesh decomposing.”
“Could Chad have been embarrassed and felt sorry for himself at that time?” Renwick quickly responds, “Sure he was embarrassed and feeling bad. There’s four of us looking at him and trying to ask him questions. Three of us are burly men compared to him. The woman officer took a few pictures for the record before she threw over him his sheet that was now on the floor.”
Maggie asks, “So you didn’t feel sorry for him?”
“Mam, we were pretty sure he was the rapist and that the people who caught him punished him as such. While we cannot condone such actions, there is a feeling he got just desserts.”
She asks in rebuttal, “But when Chad got there to help her before others; wasn’t it possible he was innocent and his attackers just presumed he was guilty?”
“Yes, but we presumed they along with Kim identified him as her rapist.”
Maggie asked, “Officer, how many out of town tourists get hurt or robbed in Central Park every year?”
“Quite a few, hundreds probably.”
Maggie asks, “If I told you hospital and police reports say well over a thousand just in Manhattan. And they estimate many others are too embarrassed to report the crimes.”
Renwick says, “A number of college-age guys, anticipate muggers are going to attack women or others who are too feeble to fight back.”
Maggie says, “You have described my client, but you make no mention of giving him that consideration, did you?”
“The 911 caller identified him as a rapist.”
Maggie asks, “Do you know if his semen was found in Miss Hopkins?”
Renwick: “I heard that it wasn’t, but I hadn’t stayed on that case after that day at the abandoned house.”
Maggie: “Why do you think the prosecutor called you as a witness then?”
“I’m guessing, he likes what I remembered and reported.”
Maggie: “Does it seem odd that others are not scheduled to testify?”
Renwick: “I can’t answer that because I can’t think of why. That isn’t my job.”
Maggie: “But you’ve been an officer for over twelve years and have your share of accolades, don’t you?”
Renwick says, “Fifteen years and I’m proud of it, but this hasn’t happened to me before.”
The trial took a break and Maggie was asked to meet with the prosecutor. He said, “We are willing to dismiss the charges with no finding.”
Maggie asks “What about the costs and injuries to my client has? There is an ugly cloud hanging over Cynthia; not to mention the costs of all that has happened to her. I am fairly sure if I request the information from other officers, medics and the hospital that we will find information suggesting Cynthia’s innocence.”
She continues, “I feel for Kim Hopkins, but I would like to be able to question her about my client’s guilt.”
The City Attorney says, “And if we decide not to ask her to take the stand, you will look bad in questioning her.”
Maggie says, “And if you fail to call her as a witness or if she is not a good witness for you. I suspect the Judge will throw the case out before it comes to me. He will declare my client innocent and will want to know if the police still have this case open or not. If not, he will ask why not.”
She says, “An innocent person should never have their life destroyed like this.”
Attorney Miller said, “The public is outraged by that brutal rape. They want someone to pay. When the 911 call came in, the public soon knew we had him. It was like he had to be guilty.”
“Mr. Miller when you released the information on the 911 call; I knew you didn’t care if he was innocent or not. And I knew I wanted his case because of that.”
Kimberly confronted Maggie before the trial was to resume after lunch. “They knew he was not guilty didn’t they?”
“He’s innocent, but they never considered that. They just discarded practicing good law for a conviction. The Police will have a more difficult task in finding your rapists. Cynthia will have a cloud hanging over her the rest of her life. We know she will find it more difficult being a woman than she can imagine.”
Maggie probes, “Are you prepared to testify for them that you recognized his voice? That he confessed to having raped you? That is the only way they have any hope of convicting Cyndi. And no matter where they’d imprison Cyndi/Chad, what would happen, will be terribly ugly?”
Cynthia comes over to Maggie when she sees her. “Oh,” she disappointedly says, when she sees its Kim that she’s talking to.
Kim turns to him, “You didn’t do it did you?”
Cyndi assumes the worst and feels hopeless, not really having heard Kim. Cynthia says, “Does it really matter anymore; everyone’s talking except to me. I can read the signs, I’m not stupid.”
Kim tries to stop Cyndi with a hug, “You didn’t rape me did you?”
“I’ve said it before, ‘No, I didn’t.’ But no one believes me. I had thought Maggie did, but.”
Kim says, “No one is going to find you guilty. I’m sorry but I guess I just wanted it to be you. Did you remember when you said, ‘We both sought to do something good and got punished for it.’ That was when I thought your voice didn’t match my rapists. Can you ever forgive me?”
Cynthia turns to Maggie to see if it’s true what she’s hearing. Maggie steps forward to catch Cynthia before she faints. She helps Cynthia to the floor without hurting herself. Cynthia is looking up trying to ask, “Is it really over?”
Maggie says, “Hopefully real soon.” Kim helps to put Cyndi’s skirt down. Cynthia reaches to hold Kim. They both cry until security wants to assure themselves that there are no problems…
To be Continued...
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