CLEARFIELD – The commonwealth rested its case yesterday afternoon against a DuBois man accused of rape after jurors heard from the victim, a sexual assault nurse examiner and two police officers. The final day of trial will commence at 9 a.m. today with the defense presenting its case before President Judge Fredric J. Ammerman at the Clearfield County Courthouse.
Joseph A. Brown, 60, of DuBois is facing charges of rape; criminal attempt/involuntary deviate sexual intercourse by forcible compulsion; sexual assault; aggravated indecent assault; and indecent assault. The charges stem from Dec. 10-11, 2012 when Brown allegedly raped a 71-year-old DuBois woman at her residence.
The victim testified first, telling jurors that Brown called her at approximately 9 p.m. Dec. 10, 2012 and asked to visit her. He wanted to talk and watch television. She’d known him since approximately 1989. The victim said when Brown phoned her, he was already parked outside of her residence.
According to her, Brown appeared to be OK at first. However, he exited her residence at least twice during his visit. She prepared him food, which he partially ate in between trips to his vehicle. Each time Brown returned, she smelled the odor of alcohol on him. She said he appeared “glassy-eyed” and staggered around.
At some point, both sat down on opposite ends of the couch in her living room. Shortly after she said Brown moved closer and touched her inappropriately inside her pajama bottoms. When he wanted to take her into the bedroom, she told him no. She said he started to pull on her hand, and she used her other hand to hold onto her couch.
The victim said Brown took her into her bedroom, where he removed her clothing and then his own. She said he pinned her down on the bed, and she wasn’t strong enough to get away due to her age, health-related issues and his size. She said he kissed and touched her inappropriately before proceeding to rape her. The victim told Brown that she wanted him to stop.
She said during the rape, Brown made inappropriate statements to her. In addition, she told him to let her up and struck him on his chest a couple of times. She said Brown eventually rolled over at which point she went into her bathroom. In the bathroom, she felt him behind her, and he inappropriately touched her rear. She believed Brown attempted a sex act behind her but said he was unsuccessful.
Once she was clothed, the victim went into her living area and sat down. There, she said Brown rubbed his private area against her thigh and she told him to leave her residence. Instead she said he passed out on her couch in his T-shirt and socks. With Brown still inside her residence, the victim ran water to cover up her phone call to 911.
Under cross-examination by defense attorney Michael Marshall, the victim estimated 10 minutes elapsed between the time Brown had arrived and the time he started to inappropriately touch her. She said during the rape, she could talk to him to tell him to stop; however, she was in so much fear that she couldn’t scream for help. She estimated Brown raped her for approximately an hour.
When asked later by Clearfield County District Attorney William A. Shaw Jr., the victim wasn’t certain about the time lengths she’d previously given. She explained her time estimates were based on her feeling and not the exact timeframes.
Elizabeth Davis, a sexual assault nurse examiner at the DuBois Regional Medical Center, said she performed the rape kit on the victim on Dec. 11, 2012. She collected general medical history, conducted an initial assessment and then proceeded with the sexual assault interview to guide the rest of her examination.
During a head-to-toe assessment, she observed that the victim had bruising on her left breast, right thigh area and on her rear. She photographed the bruise marks. During the external exam, she observed tears and abrasions to the victim’s private area, which she said was very red, tender and swollen.
Davis said she observed bleeding during the internal part of her examination of the victim. When collecting the victim’s underwear, she observed three spots of dried blood. She also observed bruising and light abrasions on the back of the victim’s private area during the internal examination.
Officers Randall L. Young and Shawn L. Bloom of the DuBois City Police Department told jurors they responded to an alleged rape with another officer at approximately 1:30 a.m. Dec. 11, 2012. Upon arrival the officers said the victim met them at her front door and informed them of what occurred. Young described her as “shaking” and “trembling” and said she spoke quietly. Both officers said they observed Brown lying on the couch in his T-shirt and socks with a dog blanket covering his private area.
Young and Bloom summoned an ambulance to the residence to transport the victim to the hospital for a rape kit examination. Once the victim was removed from her residence, the officers said they woke Brown, who was still passed out on the couch. Both officers said he appeared to be intoxicated when he was taken into custody.
Young interviewed Brown at the police station. Brown told them he’d called the victim around 9 p.m., and she allowed him to visit. After some time, “things just happened.” When asked for more specific details, Young said Brown admitted to having sexual intercourse with the victim but claimed he didn’t force himself on her. Young said Brown was evasive when answering questions during the course of the interview.
Bloom said after leaving the victim’s residence, he proceeded to the hospital. When he received the results from the rape kit examination, he phoned Young at the police station. Based upon interviews and evidence, Bloom said he decided to file rape and related sexual assault charges against Brown.
When asked under cross-examination by Marshall, Bloom said in addition to the rape kit, police also collected a comforter, bed sheet, pillow cases and the dog blanket from the victim’s residence. He said police conducted a visual examination and inspected the bedding with a black light before packaging it. Bloom said none of the collected evidence was sent away for further analysis. When asked by Shaw, Bloom said he didn’t believe it would have been necessary, as Brown had admitted to having sexual intercourse with the victim.