Victim tells of hours-long ordeal as rape trial starts

TAMPA — The woman who testified Monday about being raped repeatedly on a summer night three years ago could not identify her attacker. He told her not to look at him, she said, and her glasses were lost early during the three-hour ordeal.

Prosecutors say she led authorities to him anyway.

After the woman lied and said she had AIDS, the attacker covered himself with plastic before penetrating her again. On the plastic, crime analysts found semen that matched the DNA profile of a man already in a law enforcement database, prosecutor Kimberly Hindman said Monday.

Amos M. Busby, 38, is standing trial this week for the August 2005 attack. He faces seven counts of sexual battery and one count of kidnapping and could get life in prison if convicted.

His attorneys argue that Busby, a construction worker who has a previous conviction of aggravated battery on a pregnant woman, had consensual sex with the alleged victim. They said there were no witnesses and no medical evidence to support her claim of being raped.

"That is the telling tale of this case," attorney Joseph Caimano said.

When the defense team tried out their consensual sex theory on the victim during cross-examination Monday, she looked confused. "What?" she asked.

At times during her testimony, the woman, now 35, bit her lip and struggled to stay composed.

She told jurors about going out with friends after finishing her shift at a steak house and ending up at the Green Iguana nightclub at 402 S West Shore Blvd. just before closing time. Somehow, the friends who were her ride home left the bar without her.

She was walking alone on West Shore when she heard a thumping noise behind her, she said.

A man put his arm around her neck. She couldn't breathe.

During the next several hours, she said, he punched her, dragged her by her hair, and threatened to kill her as she sobbed and gasped for air.

"I just remember 'shut up' being said to me over and over and over again," she testified.

He assaulted her multiple times with his genitalia and various objects, she said.

"Before he let me go, he hugged me and kissed me like I was his girlfriend or something," she said.

Defense attorney Dion Hancock said the victim's trial testimony marked the first time she had used the word "rape" on the record.

"Maybe that goes without saying," she replied.

Colleen Jenkins can be reached at cjenkins@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3337.

Victim tells of hours-long ordeal as rape trial starts 12/15/08 [Last modified: Friday, December 19, 2008 3:22pm]

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