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THE CASE AGAINST JOHN McGOWAN: D-day

Wednesday, August 03, 2011
Time: 9:32 AM

UPDATE 8:30 AM (08.04.11):The Register Citizen filed this report, which includes a recap of what happened after the lunch break.
According to McGowan’s accuser — referred to as Jane Doe throughout the proceedings — McGowan invited her over to his New Milford house, which was under construction, for dinner on October 20, 2008. Shortly after dinner, the two began playing strip poker, which Doe said was “kind of a playful thing. I thought it was a tension-breaker.”

Following the game, McGowan allegedly began pressuring Doe into performing oral sex on him. While she initially refused, Doe relented, but McGowan allegedly became increasingly violent.

Doe testified that she had blacked out, and after regaining her senses, began crawling towards the rest of her clothes — she was still wearing her pants — only for McGowan to allegedly tear her pants off and begin having sex with her. Doe resisted, but eventually McGowan allegedly initiated other sexual acts.

Doe added that McGowan allegedly claimed to expand on the evening’s events, talking about gagging her, tying her up and keeping her in a hotel room for three days. McGowan allegedly remarked that Doe’s “husband” — her live-in boyfriend of 25 years and father of her children — could not stop him.

“At this point,” Doe testified, “I didn’t know if I was going to make it home.”

[...]

Dressed in a black shirt, black cargo pants and brown coat, McGowan veered the cross-examination of his accuser into several argumentative threads, leading Ginocchio to excuse the jury several times. McGowan disputed the answers provided by Doe to several questions, causing Ginocchio to admonish him and remind McGowan that the purpose of cross-examination is to ask questions.

“You have to ask questions of the witness,” Ginocchio said. “If you don’t like the answer, you can ask another question.”

Dr. Mary McKessy, an attending physician in the emergency department at New Milford Hospital, testified to her examination of the accuser on October 22, 2008. McKessy stated that according to her medical records the victim did receives some injuries. McKessy also testified on redirect that she had interviewed Doe and confirmed that the injuries were from a sexual assault.

New Milford Police Department detective sergeant Carla Tencza was the last of the prosecution’s witnesses to testify on Wednesday. According to Det. Sgt. Tencza, who had interviewed McGowan during the investigation, McGowan stated that he believed the sex was consensual the entire time, but added that Doe mentioned that she was in pain after the incident.

Shannon said that the prosecution expects to rest shortly after the trial resumes Thursday morning.

Ginocchio urged McGowan to bring in as many of his witnesses as possible on Thursday in order to hold to the trial’s schedule, adding that he expected both sides to make their closing arguments August 10.


UPDATE 7:35 PM: Here's the portion of the police report where it appears that the victim testimony in court doesn't match what she told the police.

Again, Pirro:
McGowan, who claims the sex was consensual and is serving as his own attorney, missed what appeared to be a clear opportunity to challenge Doe over her testimony that she had never engaged in anal sex with her "husband," who the defendant repeatedly referred to as a boyfriend.

In a statement Doe gave to New Milford police detective Carla Tencza, now a sergeant, two days after the assault, she admitted occasionally having done so.


Here's what the victim stated in the police report (page 5, last graph):
John and I continued to see each other and have a close relationship. We continued to talk and discuss sexual things but refrained from having intercourse. During these discussions John had even inquired about things that I had done or was currently doing with my husband regarding sexual acts. John had even asked if I had ever had anal intercourse with my husband to which I refused to answer at first and eventually admitted that we had...I explained to John that my husband and I did not have that type of intercourse on a regular basis because my husband did not desire to cause me pain or damage me.

As I stated before, if McGowan wasn't so out of touch with reality, he would had dropped his idiotic pseudo-law nonsense a LONG TIME ago and retained legal counsel...but alas, he's an idiot being advised by bigger idiots.

UPDATE 7:25 PM News-Times John Pirro just did a write-up on today's proceedings, which includes a breakdown of the alleged victim's testimony and outlines at least one instance where the victim's testimony doesn't match what was in the police report (which is why McGowan is a complete and utter IDIOT for not having legal counsel).
The woman who accused the 45-year-old Bethel resident of sexually assaulting her in New Milford in 2008 was the first person to take the stand, and graphically described how a romantic interlude abruptly turned violent when McGowan began raping her anally, she said, despite her protests and shouts for him to stop.

"I couldn't breathe and I began to black out," the woman, who has been referred to in court only as "Jane Doe," said in a trembling voice. "I screamed so loud I could feel the windows shake."

The assault allegedly occurred at house that McGowan was building on Juniper Lane, where the couple, whose friendship turned physical a few weeks earlier, had gone for a meal and a game of strip poker after a meeting at McGowan's church.

Doe told the jury that she'd met the one-time Danbury mayoral candidate and longtime anti-immigration activist the previous spring at a community access television workshop in Danbury, where McGowan was taping his weekly talk show, "John McGowan Presents."

McGowan offered her a position with his program, and over the next few months, the two grew close, even though Doe had been living with a man who was the father of her two children for the past 25 years.

"Things had become rocky between us," Doe told the jury, and she'd informed the man she called her "husband" she wanted to end the relationship the previous year, even though they continued to live together.

But Doe said she hesitated to become physically involved with McGowan because of her belief in not having sex outside marriage. Nevertheless, in the weeks before the Oct. 20, 2008 incident, they were intimate several times, she said.

Doe said she and McGowan had discussed sexual boundaries, and he was aware she didn't want to engage in anal intercourse.

"I thought he was a friend, someone I could count on and trust," Doe said.

McGowan, who claims the sex was consensual and is serving as his own attorney, missed what appeared to be a clear opportunity to challenge Doe over her testimony that she had never engaged in anal sex with her "husband," who the defendant repeatedly referred to as a boyfriend.

In a statement Doe gave to New Milford police detective Carla Tencza, now a sergeant, two days after the assault, she admitted occasionally having done so.

McGowan had to be assisted by Judge James Ginocchio in framing his questions during his cross examination.

"I'm giving you more advice than I probably should, only to be fair," Ginocchio said.



UPDATE 7:00 PM Juggling two things at the same time right now and I haven't transcribed my notes from the trial today.

I missed the testimony from the victim but reporters from the News-Times and Register-Citizen were on-hand and will fill in the blanks. I was there to listen to the testimony from doctor at the New Milford Hospital who examined the victim (Dr. Mary MacKessy (sp)) as well as from part of the testimony from Det Tencza from the New Milford Police Department (I had to go at the start of McGowan's cross-examination of the police officer).

Once I have everything in order, I'll do a more complete post on what went down today...I will say that IF McGowan had an attorney, he'd have a better chance in poking holes in this case...but alas, he's an idiot who's being advised by even bigger idiots.

...developing.

UPDATE 4:20 PM: Had to leave court early but was able to listen to testimony from the alleged victim as well as from the person who examined the victim and the officer who investigated the case.

All I can say is that McGowan is an idiot for not having an attorney and if he's convicted of the crime, it's because he didn't have legal counsel that would be able to point out some of the holes in the case that could possibly lead to a jury having reasonable doubt...but alas McGowan is an idiot.

More to come soon...

UPDATE 1:10 PM: I finally made it to the court in Litchfield and although I missed the morning proceedings (court is at recess for lunch till 2:00) there are plenty of media on hand.

Here's what I know so far.

McGowan will not be able to testify that he passed the lie detector test results. McGowan claims that he passed the lie detector test administered by the police department BUT we still don't know how he answered the questions posed to him in during the test (questions during the test were outlined in the police report).

According to reporters, the only person who has testified thus far was the victim who described in very graphic detail what happened when the alleged rape occurred.

The proceedings will continue at 2:00 and I'll update the post later today.




This morning, opening statements in the rape trial against John McGowan are set to begin. Unfortunately, due to a scheduling conflict, I won't be able to attend most of the proceedings this morning BUT several media outlets are on the scene and will report on everything that happens today.

Here's a brief write-up on what going to happen in Litchfield Superior Court today by the Register-Citizen:
LITCHFIELD — A Bethel man accused of first-degree sexual assault will defend himself at trial Wednesday in Litchfield Superior Court.

John McGowan, 44, 8 Fairchild Drive, is accused of forcing his former girlfriend to have sexual relations in October 2008. He was arrested in July 2009 by New Milford police and charged with first-degree sexual assault following an investigation.

McGowan is at liberty on a $7,500 bond. The trial is scheduled to take place Aug. 3, 4, 9, 10 and 11.

Since McGowan began appearing in Litchfield, Judge James P. Ginocchio has repeatedly suggested that he hire an attorney to represent him. The alleged sexual offender has, however, declined and preferred to represent himself.

Judge Ginocchio previously ordered McGowan undergo a competency test due to his behavior in the courtroom. Both a psychologist and a psychiatrist from the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services determined he was competent enough to understand the charges he is facing and to conduct his own defense.

If found guilty following a trial, the first-degree sexual assault could land McGowan a 20-year jail sentence.
I'll update this post as soon as I have information on what happened in court.

posted by ctblogger at 9:32 AM | Permalink|

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