Judge Orders Rape Victim to Testimony
SAN DIEGO, Texas (AP) _ A judge today ordered the victim of an alleged abduction and gang rape to testify after she asked him to dismiss an aggravated kidnapping charge against the second of 10 men charged in the case.
The 20-year-old woman said she did not want to testify in the trial of Felipe Chew, 29, because the media attention had disrupted her life.
The woman had provided emotional testimony in a September trial that resulted in the conviction of Orlando Garza, 24, on a sexual assault charge. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
District Judge Gilberto Hinojosa, however, denied her request and threatened to jail her for contempt of court if she refused to testify.
″To a certain extent, I sympathize with what you’ve been going through, or what you say you’ve been going through ... but too much has happened for me to allow you to determine whether or not this case should proceed,″ he said.
The judge said he could not allow the case to be dropped if the woman was not recanting her previous testimony before a grand jury that indicted Chew. She said she did not recant the accusations.
Defense attorneys filed motions to dismiss the case after the woman said she did not want to testify, but the judge denied the defense motion and called the jury into the courtroom.
In opening arguments today, defense attorney Jaime Garza said the trial would include evidence of ″women who have an insatiable desire for sex. Women that just can’t get enough, even with multiple men.″
On the stand, the woman identified Chew as one of the 20 or more men who kidnapped her and repeatedly raped her on March 26.
Chew has been in the Duval County Jail since March 31 in lieu of bonds totaling $70,000.
He was indicted along with nine other men last April after the mother of two reported she was attacked. Chew also faces a sexual assault charge in a later trial.