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Students’ Trial Testimony Delayed

Trial Commentary: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7.

Parker Gilbert.jpgNumerous Dartmouth students who have been subpoenaed to testify at the ongoing trial for rape of Parker Gilbert ‘16 (right) — sources say as many as eight students have been called — have been told that they will not be asked to take the stand until next week. The prosecution had called them to the court from their spring break; many have flown long distances to appear. However two students did testify today, The D reported, along with the complainant, her mother, and the mother of one of the students. The Valley News’ story is here.

My read on the proceedings so far is that the trial is a disaster for the prosecution. And the defense has not even begun to put on its own case. The complainant has repeatedly affirmed that she was not incapacitated on the night of the alleged assault, though she appeared unsympathetic as a heavy, boastful drinker. She told the court, and she said the same to several people shortly after the event, that she was worried Gilbert might brag about their interaction, and that her dignity would suffer as a result. Finally, the elaborate nature of her sexual relations with Gilbert make it difficult to believe she was coerced. Had she protested at all about Gilbert’s behavior, that protest could hardly have escaped the notice of both the female friend (supposedly blacked out) with whom she was sharing her bed, or her roommate, who was doing homework in the next room of a thin-walled, two-room double. A more likely scenario is the complainant took care to be quiet as she and Gilbert consensually engaged in varied forms of sexual intercourse, acts which she later regretted.

The complainant’s testimony contains numerous other serious inconsistencies, but beyond that observation, the fact that an experienced Washington attorney like Rob Cary has not settled the case — as he certainly would have been expected to do — but has chosen to take it to a jury trial, with all the unpredictability that such a proceeding entails, leads one to believe that Cary both thinks that he has the evidence on his side and that he is facing a mediocre opponent in the Grafton County prosecutor.

The judge could well throw out the case before it goes to the jury.

Addendum: Marina Shkuratov ‘15 is doing a fine job reporting on the trial for The D. The detail of her account gives the reader a far better understanding of the events in question than the Valley News’ stories — the local paper appears to be shying away from reporting unseemly information, even though it has real bearing on the case.

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