Judge rejects demand for rape victims testimony

Posted: Wednesday, March 19, 2003

ANCHORAGE (AP) A rape victim subpoenaed by the defense in a murder trial does not have to testify, the judge in the case ruled Tuesday.

Superior Court Judge Mike Wolverton quashed a subpoena served by the defense in the Joshua Wade murder trial. Attorneys for Wade, charged with the rape and murder of Della Brown, sought to put on the stand one of the victims of serial rapist Gregory Poindexter.

The defense has tried to portray Poindexter as a more likely killer than Wade.

The state Victims' Rights Office represented the rape victim, identified only as E.K., and asked last week that the subpoena be dismissed.

Wolverton said he balanced the competing rights of the defendant and the victim and concluded that Wade's lawyers have other ways to get the woman's story before the jury without forcing her to take the stand.

Defense attorney Cindy Strout said she will not appeal the ruling.

E.K. declared herself ecstatic'' when advised she would not have to publicly recount the details of her rape.

I can't believe it,'' she told the Anchorage Daily News. The pressure's been lifted off of me.''

Poindexter pleaded no contest and was sentenced to 30 years in prison for raping five Native women between August 2000 and January 2001.

Wade is charged with raping and murdering Brown, also Native, whose body was found Sept. 2, 2000, the same week Poindexter attacked two of his victims.

On Tuesday Strout played for the jury tapes of grand jury testimony by three Poindexter victims. A fourth testified in person.

Strout said she wanted E.K. to testify because the attack on her, which left her with face and head injuries, most resembled what was done to Brown.

E.K. sought help from the Victims' Rights Office, created last year by the Legislature. Director Steve Branchflower argued to Wolverton on Monday that the defense could play E.K.'s grand jury testimony and augment it with her medical records. E.K has spent two years trying to put the rape behind her, Branchflower said, and does not want to revisit it.

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