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Parker Gilbert: Deliberations Begin

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

The jury in the Parker Gilbert case began its deliberations at 3:30pm yesterday. Closing arguments contained nothing unexpected, save for the comment from Gilbert’s attorney Rob Cary that shortly prior to their interaction in the complainant’s room, Gilbert and the complainant had crossed paths in the hallway of their common dormitory. Such a statement by Cary might be directed at the count against Gilbert of criminal trespass — the one charge against him that is not related to sexual conduct.

The goal of this comment would be to raise a doubt in the minds of jurors about the reason Gilbert came to be in the complainant’s room. Given that Gilbert did not take the stand, he could not testify as to the chance hallway meeting, and Cary undoubtedly made the choice not to ask the complainant about it, given that she might not recall it, and go on record as saying that it did not occur. The complainant’s friend, who spent the night with her and did not awaken during the sexual interaction, was also not asked about the supposed meeting.

The jury has a specific task here, one that should inform conversations on campus as well. The issue is not who has more credibility in recounting the events on the night of May 2, 2013 — that would be a discussion for a civil case where the standard of proof is the preponderance of the evidence. Rather, the question is whether the complainant’s account of the night’s events is true beyond a reasonable doubt. Put another way, the issue is not whom you believe more, but if you do not fully believe the accuser. If you do not, then Parker will be acquitted.

Either way, two promising lives have been badly compromised.

Addendum: The Valley News described the Gilbert family’s background as follows:

Although Gilbert and his family moved to London when he was 6, they have strong Upper Valley ties.

His paternal grandfather, John J. Gilbert, is a retired biology professor at Dartmouth College who has been attending the trial regularly, along with dozens of other family members.

Parker Gilbert’s father grew up in Hanover, and the defendant’s parents, John and Lynn Gilbert, are listed on Newbury, N.H., assessing records as the owners of a home on Lake Sunapee.

The story omits to note that Gilbert’s father, John Gilbert, was until recently a senior investment banker for JP Morgan in London. He worked as the Senior Country Officer for the Benelux and Scandinavian countries. Gilbert père left his post last year to return to the United States, and he took a sabbatical from the firm in order to be closely involved in his son’s trial, the cost of which must be enormous by this time.

Addendum: Gilbert is no longer listed as a student in the publicly accessible Dartmouth Name Directory:

DND Gilbert Listing.jpg

The complainant, whose name is widely known on campus, is also only listed as an alumna.

Note: by the rules of the Association of Alumni, anyone who has matriculated at the College a full member of the alumni body.

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