Detective Testifies At Rape Trial
North Haverhill — A Hanover police detective testified Friday that the Dartmouth College student who alleges she was raped by a classmate told police when interviewed that she wasn’t “forceful” with verbal protests during the alleged assault.
On the trial’s fifth day, Hanover Police Capt. Frank Moran was called to testify by the prosecution, one day after the woman’s roommate told jurors that she was in the adjoining room and overheard sexual activity, although not in a manner that would have led her to think there was an assault occurring in the next room.
Parker C. Gilbert, a former Dartmouth student, is charged with seven counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault and a misdemeanor criminal trespassing charge.
The prosecution alleges that Gilbert entered the accuser’s unlocked dorm room in the early hours of May 2, 2013, and began assaulting her while she was asleep.
But the defense has argued that the sexual activity was consensual “clumsy, awkward, drunk college sex.”
Gilbert went to the accuser’s room — the students lived in the same dorm complex — after they had briefly exchanged words earlier in the night during a party at Beta Alpha Omega fraternity, according to the prosecution.
Eleven days after the sexual encounter, o n May 13, the accuser went to police to report the allegations and to inquire about her options, Moran said in court on Friday.
“We do as much or as little as a victim of an alleged sex crime is interested in. ... If they want a full investigation executed, we’ll do that,” Moran said. “Up to the point of prosecution and then even beyond, we try to keep it in their hands to make the decision as to what they would like to have done with their case.
The accuser decided she wanted to be interviewed by police immediately. Moran said he advised her that he wanted her to provide a general overview of what transpired the night of the alleged assault, and then he would follow up with s pecific questions.
Grafton County Attorney Lara Saffo asked Moran on the stand if the accuser said anything about “yelling” at Gilbert during the alleged assault. Moran replied the accuser mentioned she did yell in protest when she initially told her story , but didn’t mention it again when he asked her more detailed questions.
“She told me that she didn’t speak forcefully to indicate any volume to it,” Moran said.
Saffo next asked Moran to read from the transcript of his interview with the accuser.
According to the transcript, the accuser told Moran that she h ad been emerging from a “deep sleep,” and when she became fully conscious she realized that Gilbert was having sex with her.
“And I guess, I don’t know, I just didn’t freak out because I had just woken up, and I said, ‘No, no, no. I want to go to sleep.’ But I wasn’t forceful about it and I just said, ‘No, I want to go to sleep.’ ... Stop, I kept on yelling stop.”
The accuser explained that she fell to the floor because she was in a lot of pain and made some sort of “pain sound,” according to the transcript. When she was on the floor, she told Moran that Gilbert said “Oh, sorry, sorry, sorry. You’re OK. You’re OK.” Then the woman told Moran that Gilbert said, “Get back on the bed.”
Moran, reading from the transcript, said he then asked the accuser if she told him to stop, and the woman said she did.
“But then he obviously wasn’t going to do so, so I stopped saying it,” Moran quoted the accuser, reading from the transcript.
Moran said he then asked the accuser what she said to Gilbert while she was on the floor and upset.
“I said I was crying, ‘No, let me go back to sleep,’ ” the woman told Moran.
Moran said he then asked what happened next.
The woman responded with a sigh and said, “He kept going for awhile,” according to the transcript.
More details about the time line of the night’s events were released on Friday, with Moran saying that card swipes that provide students with access to their dorms show that the accuser returned to her dorm at 1:38 a.m. on May 2, and Gilbert returned to the dorm at 2:26 a.m.
The prosecution called a number of witnesses to the stand on Friday, including a Hanover police detective, an officer from Dartmouth’s Safety & Security department, the investigator who analyzed fingerprints in the woman’s room, a nurse at the college’s health center, three men who were on Gilbert’s rugby team and another male student that the accuser had spoken to at Beta Alpha Omega
Rugby player Christopher Banks said he had been drinking with Gilbert the night of the alleged assault and exchanged text messages with Gilbert the following morning, in which Gilbert said, “I was wasted,” and “I have such a headache.”
“Did he say to you that he had a great, casual, drunken hook up?” Saffo asked.
“No,” Banks said, “We don’t share things like that.”
Saffo asked Banks if Gilbert had mentioned the woman to him in the days that followed, and Banks said Gilbert told him about an encounter he had with the woman the evening of May 3 — the day after the alleged assault — when they crossed paths at a fraternity.
The accuser testified earlier this week that when she also saw Gilbert at the fraternity on May 3, she turned around and vomited inside a coat closet.
Banks said Gilbert described the encounter and said the woman had turned around and walked away and Gilbert seemed confused as to why.
“Did he tell you how she looked?” Saffo said.
“I couldn’t recall the specific wording he used,” Banks said. Saffo asked him to refer to the statement he had made while being interviewed by Moran.
“That she looked terrified,” Banks said.
The trial will resume Monday at 9 a.m. at the Grafton Superior Court in North Haverhill. The trial is slated to last one more week.
Sarah Brubeck can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 603-727-3223.