Victims take the stand on second day of rape trial

Published 11:00 pm Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A 19-year-old Troy University student said it was her attacker’s eyes that helped her identify the man she believes sexually assaulted her in her home at Hunter’s Mountain Mobile Home Park on March 26, 2012.

“His eyes. I’ve never seen anything like it. The meanness,” the young woman said from the witness stand.

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She and a 22-year-old woman who said she was raped the same day both testified in court Tuesday during the jury trial for Andre Ellis who is accused of committing the crimes.

“I didn’t want to fight back because I couldn’t win,” the 19-year-old said.

Since her terrifying ordeal, the young woman has had five surgeries for injuries suffered in the attack and is scheduled for a sixth.

She said she didn’t report her injuries as a rape at first because her attacker told her he would kill her and her family if she spoke about the crime.

Troy Police Detective Brian McLendon testified Tuesday that police used cell phone records and surveillance video from Hunter’s Mountain to narrow down the times of the rapes and place Ellis at the scene.

Ellis’ attorney argued that the timeline of the crimes only changed after Ellis was developed as a suspect in order to place him at the scenes. He also noted there was no physical evidence recovered by police linking Ellis to the crimes.

McLendon said the first rape happened between 4:41 and 4:46 p.m. and the second occurred between 7:13 and 7:21 p.m.

The 22-year-old was a recent bride at the time of her attack on March 26. She was staying at her parents’ home in Hunter’s Mountain while her husband was away for basic training.

The second victim had gone outside to collect clothes from her car. She testified Tuesday that she saw her attacker approach from her right. She said she started to work faster and he began to make small talk. That’s when he restrained the 5-foot, 2-inch woman and pulled her backwards down a terrace behind her parent’s home.

“At the time, so many different things were going through my mind. I just wanted to live,” she said when asked why she didn’t scream.

The woman said she tried to think back to television reports of crimes to help her survive.

She said she didn’t tell anyone what happened at first because she was “ashamed,” “scared,” and “embarrassed.”

The prosecution rested about 5:30 p.m. Tuesday after also hearing from a Troy doctor who treated one of the victims and Crime Scene Investigator Sgt. Michael O’Hara. The defense will begin calling witnesses Wednesday morning.