RAPE TRIAL begins with opening arguments

The jury trial began Wednesday in the Marion County District Court for three Peabody residents charged with the rape of a 14-year-old girl sometime between June 22 and June 28, 2010.

The defendants, Terry Lee Bowen, 64, Lora J. Gay, 39, and Kenneth J. Frederick, 22, are each charged with two counts of rape and one count each of aggravated criminal sodomy, aggravated kidnapping and battery. Frederick and Gay are additionally charged with criminal threat.

During opening arguments, Kansas Assistant Attorney General Charles Klebe of Topeka, said the state will prove that a ?terrible tragedy? occurred to a then 14-year-old, eighth grade student, and it all began with $20.

?For some people $20 may not go far enough, for one girl, it cost her life,? he said.

The 12-member jury and two alternates, made up of nine men and five women, heard Klebe outline the state?s case against Bowen, Gay and Frederick.

To prove the state?s case, Klebe said he would be calling the victim herself to recount what happened to her.

He would also have Holly Pham, a sexual assault nurse at Via-Christi St. Joseph Hospital?s SANE/SART program, describe the victim?s injuries from the attack. SANE/SART is an acronym for Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner/Sexual Assault Response Team.

According to Klebe, Pham provided comprehensive care to the victim, and the team included health care providers, advocacy programs, law enforcement agencies, the prosecutor?s office and other professionals, who helped the victim deal with her sexual assault.

Another witness for the state, Wilma Mueller was, at that time, a social worker with the Heart to Heart Child Advocacy Center in Newton.

Mueller would talk about her interview with the child, along with providing a one hour taped meeting with her, Klebe said.

Peabody Police Chief Bruce Burke would also take the stand for the prosecution, he said, to talk about his interviews with the victim.

Robert Jacobs with the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, planned to provide bank records and testify about what Gay spent her money on and whether that would match the account given to Jacobs in an earlier interview, Klebe said.

Following Klebe?s opening argument, Bowen?s attorney, David Harger of McPherson, said his client is innocent.

?I saw the disgusted looks (on your faces),? he said, ?but Terry Bowen didn?t do this.?

Harger said no one is exactly sure when the alleged rape happened.

?It wasn?t reported until almost three weeks later,? he said.

In the victim?s account, Harger said, she will contend that she was hit in the face, but when her step-father came to the door minutes after the alleged rape, he didn?t notice any evidence of bruises, cuts or that she had been crying.

Harger said he planned to call a gynecologist to testify about the victim?s physical condition and timelines associated with that examination.

He would also talk about Bowen?s physical limitations, specifically a inguinal hernia, which occurs in the groin, requiring him to use a truss to support the hernia.

?We ask that (the jury) keep an open mind,? Harger said.

Donald Snapp of Newton, representing Frederick, asked the jury to hear the evidence and listen to the credibility of the victim.

Snapp talked about the victim?s interviews with Burke on July 12, July 16 and July 21, and how each time the facts would change.

Snapp said the jury should listen to the comparing and contrasting manner in the victim?s testimony.

Lora Gay?s attorney, Gary Price of McPherson, reminded the jury that the burden of proof is on the state.

He explained that there was no mention of his client in the first interview with Burke, but in the second interview July 16, he said, Gay was mentioned as ?standing in the doorway? while Bowen and Frederick allegedly raped her.

?Five days after the second interview,? Price said, ?(the victim) was back with Burke and the story changed again.?

More details from the first three days of the trial will be published in the June 29 edition of the Hillsboro Free Press.

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