TAMPA — Attorneys for defendants in the Walker Middle School rape case will ask a judge today to compel the alleged victim to return to the United States to be questioned in preparation for trial.
According to a motion filed in court, attorney Tim Taylor said he got an e-mail from the State Attorney's Office saying the alleged victim will be overseas and unable to make a deposition scheduled for July 16 but, according to his father, would return the week before school starts.
Prosecutors said the deposition should be scheduled for August.
"All relevant depositions have been concluded in this case," Taylor wrote in the motion. "This case is over a year old and this final deposition needs to be taken as quickly as possible so the case can be prepared for trial."
Taylor said the boy's father previously told attorneys the family was thinking of living in the foreign country and was "testing the waters" this summer.
"The father was not able to tell us with certainty when or even if his family was going to come back," said defense attorney Norman Cannella.
The boy is a key witness in the state's case.
"The state would be without a prosecutable case if he's not available," Cannella said.
Prosecutors have said the then-13-year-old boy endured a two-month reign of terror in spring 2009 — that students heard his screams as he was raped with a broom and hockey stick in the school's locker room by youths.
The victim spoke out when a coach, noticing tension among the students, asked what was wrong. Four boys were charged as adults with felony sexual battery. Defense attorneys have said two medical exams showed no signs of sexual assault on the victim. A state crime lab analysis could not determine whether traces of DNA found on a hockey stick and a broom belonged to the suspects.
One suspect, Randall Moye, 15, pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of felony battery with juvenile sanctions in exchange for truthful testimony against his co-defendants. The others — Lee Louis Myers, 15, Raymond Price-Murray, 15, and Diemante J. Roberts, 16 — have not accepted plea deals.
Alexandra Zayas can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (813) 226-3354.