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Accuser testifies in alleged Pentacrest rapist trial

BY BRENT GRIFFITHS | NOVEMBER 29, 2012 6:30 AM

Facebook posts, tweets out

A judge ruled Wednesday that Facebook posts and tweets from the alleged victim cannot be shown in court in the trial of the alleged Pentacrest rapist.

Evan Pfeifer’s attorney, Mark Brown, said the posts and tweets were of “foundational nature” to the case. Brown said during a hearing on Monday he would possibly use the posts to possibly respond to the alleged victim’s testimony.

Brown specifically mentioned posts and tweets that contained either pictures or references to alcohol.  One post had partial nudity in it, but the alleged victim said she found it online and simply reposted it.

Sixth District Judge Mitchell Turner said most of the posts were “not related” and “generic” in nature.

— by Brent Griffiths
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Former University of Iowa student Evan Pfeifer allegedly held his hand over a woman’s mouth and told her, “It’s fine. You like it. You’re so pretty,” as he sexually assaulted her on the Pentacrest in October 2010, the alleged victim testified.

Pfeifer’s trial continued Wednesday in the Johnson County Courthouse, a day in which the state presented 10 witnesses. Pfeifer is accused of sexually assaulting a woman near the intersection of Washington and Madison Streets in the early morning hours of Oct. 3, 2010. He is charged with third-degree sexual abuse.

During her testimony Wednesday, the reported victim cried at times as she recounted the incident. The Daily Iowan does not name alleged victims of sexual abuse.

The woman said she went to her sister’s apartment after the Homecoming football game on the night of Oct. 2. She drank vodka, had five or six shots, and left the apartment at around 2 a.m. on Oct. 3.

She said she started on Madison Street toward her dorm room at Stanley Residence Hall with a group of friends before falling behind as she attempted to reach her sister on the phone. The siblings argued about the number of people at the party and the presence of marijuana, the sister of the reported victim testified.

After becoming separated from the group, the accuser said she noticed a man — who she later identified as Pfeifer — walking down the Washington Street hill. He said “Hi” to the woman before asking what she was doing or where she was headed, the reported victim testified. Pfeifer allegedly said he also lived in Stanley and began walking with her.

The woman said she insisted upon catching up with her friends, but the two began walking by a tree on the west side of the Pentacrest. Pfeifer “just seemed annoying, not threatening,” the alleged victim said.

The woman said she next remembers being on the ground with Pfeifer on top of her.

“Once we were on the ground, I knew [my friends] were too far away,” the woman testified, saying she tried to break free, but was unable to and “kind of just gave up after a while.”

Pfeifer then allegedly took off the woman’s pants and his own before she said he raped her.
“I just kind of shut down at that point,” the accuser said.

The woman said she was on the ground for 15 to 20 minutes “waiting for it to be over.”

A UI student who testified as a witness Wednesday said he approached Pfeifer and the woman during the alleged incident and yelled, “Get a room,” before realizing the alleged victim was not responsive.

“I expected them to be startled or stare at me, but only the guy was looking at me,” said the man, who asked not to be named.

After calling a friend to come pick her up, the reported victim then walked back to Stanley. She looked “distraught” and “confused” when she returned to the residence hall, another friend testified Wednesday.

“She looked honestly like she had just gotten hit by a bus,” said Kelly Olin, UI junior who accompanied the reported victim to the hospital later.

Mark Brown, Pfeifer’s attorney, questioned the state’s witnesses on the lack of noticeable injuries the reported victim sustained.

Judy Anderson-Bruner, a sexual-assault nurse examiner, said the woman did not have any noticeable injuries besides two previous ones on her back. But when assistant Johnson County assistant prosecutor Anne Lahey asked Anderson-Bruner how many sexual-assault cases include injuries, she replied a “majority” do not. Still, Anderson-Bruner agreed with Brown’s assertion that enough cases without injury occur that a protocol exists for them.

Though Anderson-Bruner said officials found some blood on the alleged victim’s underwear, they were unable to find a cut.

The state will continue with its witnesses today, Lahey said. If convicted, Pfeifer faces up to 10 years in prison.

DI reporter Cassidy Riley contributed to this article.


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