Rape and Indecent Assault
A college student was accused of Rape and Indecent Assault and Battery by two young women. The man moonlighted as a male stripper and met the girls while performing a live strip show. The women both requested private lap dances at the end of the strip show. The females received the private dances separately. The next day they each accused the man of sexually assaulting them during their respective dances. The man was arrested and charged with two counts of Rape and two counts of Indecent Assault and Battery, one count of each offense for each of two alleged victims. The man maintained his innocence and exercised his right to a jury trial. After nearly two weeks of trial, a jury of four men and eight women delivered a verdict of not guilty.
A young single female decided to host a party in her single bedroom apartment for she and her friends. The party consisted of two parts. Part one was considered a sex toy party and part two involved a live strip show. As for part one, the female contracted with a private sex toy dealer or representative. The sex toy representative came to the female’s home with sample sex toys, novelties and a catalog of other available products. The representative then provided the audience with a presentation on the various types and uses of sex toys. After the presentation, the sex toy products were available for sale. Guests of the party were invited to either purchase items directly from the representative or order them from her catalog.
After the sex toy presentation concluded, a male stripper came to the apartment to perform a live strip show. The female, a white college-aged girl, researched male strippers online. She came upon an agency website that advertised profiles for various male strippers or exotic dancers. After browsing the profiles, the female settled in on a very attractive, college-aged African American male. She contracted for his services through the agency and booked him for a one-hour show at her apartment. The stripper arrived as planned. Though he was a little late for his performance, he maintained cellphone and text message contact with the host to update her on his location and arrival time. Once he arrived, the stripper contacted the host again, met her outside of her apartment to receive payment for his services, and provided her with instructions for the commencement of his strip show.
The male strip show was a complete surprise to the female’s guest. Initially the apartment had approximately 12 guests for the sex toy party. As that portion of the events concluded and the night grew old, some of the guests departed. 7 remained present for the strip show. All present were white, college-aged, females with whom the host either worked or was longtime friends.
The male stripper entered the apartment dressed in a military uniform or costume. He walked in to the introduction of loud dance music, which he provided the host with on a CD and instructions that she plays it really loud for his entrance. Upon entering the apartment, the female audience was very surprised. The male stripper provided his performance for the women in the host’s living room. Members of the audience were loud, excited, cheering, screaming and overall, having a wild time. The dance routine began with the stripper dancing in the middle of the living room while the females surrounded him. Little by little he removed articles of his clothing, to include his shirt, pants, boots and socks. Once undressed, he wore nothing but a small G-string and remained so dressed for the remainder of the evening. As the solo portion of the routine ended, the male stripper placed a chair in the center of the living room and one-by-one, brought females from his audience into the center to sit in the chair. Once seated, he straddled the females, allowed them to straddle him, picked them up and bounced them off of his body, and danced with them in very erotic ways so as to simulate various sex acts and positions. The stripper also groped the females over their clothing all throughout the act. Many of them groped him as well. The women were also tipping the stripper all throughout the show. They tossed money at him, placed bills into elastics that he wore around his arms and legs, and even placed the tips inside his G-string. Tips were also collected from the females by the stripper. Many of the women placed bills on or underneath their clothing or even between their legs, thereby inviting and allowing the stripper to collect them with his mouth.
At the end of the strip show, the dancer conducted a raffle. All the females placed their names on dollar bills, which were then crinkled up and placed into a bowl. The stripper then randomly selected four winners: the host and three of her friends or co-workers. The stripper offered the raffle winners three options: rub baby oil on his body; remove his G-string; or a private lap dance. The first winner opted for the baby oil body rub. The stripped laid on the living room floor on his back while the female straddled him on top. From this position, she rubbed oil all over his body in the presence of the crowd. The second winner opted for the G-string removal whereby she took off the dancer’s G-string with her mouth in the presence of others. This act also occurred in the living room. The third and fourth winners both selected the private lap dance. These winners included the host and her co-worker. The lap dances occurred behind closed doors in the privacy of the host’s bedroom and each lasted for about 10 minutes.
The host was the first to receive the lap dance. She and the stripper went into her bedroom. The stripper had asked her if there was a private location within the apartment to perform the dance and she responded by volunteering her bedroom. The two walked to the bedroom together. The stripper brought a chair with them. Once inside, the door was closed and the chair was placed in front of the door. The lights were also shut off. The female was asked and agreed to sit down in a manner so as to straddle the chair. This allowed the stripper to begin the private dance of her from behind. He began by touching her shoulders, back and upper torso. Eventually he removed her shirt and bra thereby enabling him to touch and grope her breasts. The girl then turned around in the chair and allowed the stripper to remove her pants and underwear. Once removed, she turned back around to straddle the chair again. From this position, the stripper remained behind her and penetrated her vagina with his finger. He then licked her vagina. He asked for permission to place a vibrator inside her vagina, but she declined. The stripper then picked her up off of the chair and attempted to place her on the bed. The host accidentally fell off of her bed and decided to turn the lights on. This brought the private dance to a conclusion. Once over, the host and stripper talked for a while. He provided her with his real name, they exchanged telephone numbers and revealed facts about their lives such as him being in school and living nearby. She also revealed that she was a student, was formerly in the military and was also working full-time. The two ended their encounter in the bedroom with a mutual kiss and an agreement to get together again in the future outside the context of strip show.
As the host exited her bedroom, she told her co-worker it was her turn for a private lap dance. The co-worker female entered the bedroom and was greeted by the stripper. The bedroom door was closed and the chair was placed in front of it similar to the former dance. This time the lights remained on. The female sat in the chair, but did not straddle it. The stripper, dressed only in his G-string, began the dance by straddling the female. This progressed to him touching her chest, first on top of her shirt and then underneath it. She ultimately allowed him to remove her shirt and bra so as to reveal her breasts. The stripper placed his mouth on her breasts once they were exposed. The female then allowed him to remove her pants. She was not wearing any underwear. The stripper then asked the female to move from the chair to the floor in the doggy style position. He then positioned himself behind her and inserted a finger into her vagina. Moments later, he put on a condom and then penetrated her with his penis. He thrusted in and out until ejaculation. He then removed himself from her and began to get dressed. He also picked the girl up from the floor and placed her on a dresser in the bedroom. The two then engaged in small talk. Similar to the prior lap dance, the stripper provided this second female with his real name, exchanged telephone numbers and revealed facts about his life such as him not having a girlfriend, being in school, dancing to pay for school and living nearby. She also revealed that she was a student, was also working and did not have a boyfriend. The two ended their encounter in the bedroom by agreeing to get together again in the future.
After the lap dances concluded, the stripper began to get dressed and gather his belongings. He discarded the used condom into a trashcan located within the bathroom. He did one last raffle and awarded a strip show to the winner. The winning female then gave it to the host claiming that her birthday was coming soon. The stripper then passed out his business cards to the females, which contained his photograph, stage name and real cellphone number. He then departed the apartment. On the drive home, he received a phone call from the host. She sounded very disturbed on the phone and was allegedly angry about what had transpired that evening at her apartment. Before calling the stripper, she had conferred with her co-worker. The two compared notes about their respective experiences during the lap dance and had agreed that the stripper was sexually aggressive with them, thereby forcing them to engage in unwanted or non-consensual sexual contact. The stripper apologized on the phone, but his apology was not accepted. The host terminated the call and then returned his subsequent incoming call and voice message. The stripper then sent the host a text message apologizing for his actions and claiming that he had no intent on bringing any discord into their evening. The stripper never saw or spoke with these two females, the host and her co-worker, ever again.
The girls contacted the police to report sexual assault allegations. The co-worker also went to the hospital to be examined. She was seen by a sexual assault nurse examiner who conducted a forensic examination used in sexual assault cases. The police responded to both the host’s apartment and the hospital. They interviewed both alleged witnesses, as well as all the females present in the apartment during the strip show. None of the other females heard or saw a thing with respect to the lap dances. The host also did not see or hear anything with respect to her co-worker’s lap dance. Similarly, the co-worker did not hear or see anything with respect to the host’s lap dance. The females at the party informed police that when the girls exited the bedroom after their respective lap dances, that each looked like something was wrong. Their demeanors going into the bedroom were different than when they exited the bedroom. However, the females were unable to provide any further details. One of the females told police that she actually spoke privately with each of the girls after the dances and that each of the girls reported, only upon being questioned, that they experienced sexual activity with the stripper. The host said she had been fingered and licked, but denied sex. The co-worker acknowledged that sex occurred, but provided no details. From the apartment, police seized the discarded condom and a candle from inside the bedroom, which contained fingerprints believed to belong to the stripper.
Police contacted the stripper by calling the cellphone number on his business card. The detective handling the investigation advised the man that he was investigating “an incident” from a party that had occurred the night prior. During the call, the man provided police with his real name, address, date of birth and social security number. He also agreed to fully cooperate with police and voluntarily go to the station for questioning and to make a statement. Though the stripper lived in a neighboring state, he went straight to the police station after receiving the call. He arrived within one hour and went alone. He did not bring any friends, relatives or a lawyer with him. Once greeted by the officer, the man was asked to wait in the lobby of the police station for a few minutes. He remained patient and cooperative during this time. When questioned, he was advised of and waived his rights. He told the police where he attended school, that he worked as a male stripper through an agency and provided the name of the agency. He admitted to performing a show the night prior. He confirmed its location, his presence and the activities conducted to include the living room show, raffle and private lap dances. All of this information was independently confirmed or corroborated by police. When asked if he had sexual contact with any of the females at the party, the man lied and said “no.” This is when police first informed him that the girls accused him of sexual assault. The stripper became visibly upset and adamantly denied the allegations. He admitted sex, contended that the factual nature of the allegations amounted to rape and that he would never rape anyone. He then requested an attorney and terminated his talk with police. Much to the stripper’s surprise, he was then placed under arrest and charged with Rape and Indecent Assault and Battery.
The man and his family searched high and low for a criminal defense attorney they could trust. They wanted a lawyer who would believe in the man’s innocence and somehow prove it in court. As a result, they settled on Attorney John L. Calcagni III. The man was initially charged by police, but then indicted in Superior Court with two counts of Rape and two counts of Indecent Assault and Battery, one count of each offense for each of two alleged victims. He was then arraigned on these charges at which time the prosecution sought to hold the man in jail without bail while his case was pending. Attorney Calcagni successfully opposed this request and secured his client’s release on $20,000.00 cash bail. Fortunately for the man, his family had the resources to finance this bail. Once bail was posted and the man was released, the case proceeded into the pretrial phase of litigation. This involves repeated court appearances to obtain the government’s evidence. This mainly consisted of police reports, witness statements and photographs taken from inside the apartment. Evidence also consisted of fingerprint analysis demonstrating that the man’s print was in fact on the seized candle, and that the semen in the condom and sample collected during the victim’s sexual assault examination matched the man’s DNA. Attorney Calcagni was also successful in obtaining the victim’s medical records, which contained no evidence of sexual assault, and phone records showing the parties phone and text message communications on the night in question. Once all the evidence was exchanged and motions filed, the prosecutor offered the man a pretrial agreement. The terms of the agreement provided for a sentencing recommendation of 10 years in exchange for his guilty plea. The prosecution felt that its offer was generous in light of the fact that the crime of Rape is a capital offense punishable by life in jail. After conferring with Attorney Calcagni, the man declined the prosecution’s offer and demanded his right to a jury trial.
The matter proceeded to trial and lasted a total of six days from jury selection to delivery of the verdict. The jury was comprised of eight women and four men. Trial initiated with opening statements. The prosecution outlined its intended evidence and version of events, which it alleged would all add up to Rape and Indecent Assault and Battery. Attorney Calcagni, in his opening statement, adopted much of the prosecution’s evidence, but claimed that the evidence would not amount in any form of sexual assault, but instead consensual sexual activity between consenting adults who later felt regret and remorse for the spontaneous decision to engage in sexual conduct with a male stripper.
Trial then proceeded with the prosecution’s five witnesses. The prosecutor presented the testimony of the alleged victims, first, the host and second, her co-worker. Though each female provided emotional courtroom testimony whereby they each accused the stripper of rape and sexual assault, both women withered on cross-examination by Attorney Calcagni. They both acknowledged that they did not verbally resist the stripper’s physical advances. They cooperated in the acts by participating in the removal of their clothing and re-positioning themselves during the private dances. The host said she “let it happen,” referring to her sexual contact with the man. Her co-worker said she continuously said no “in her mind,” but never said or did anything to communicate her sentiments to the dancer. Both women also acknowledged that they had the physical ability to leave the bedroom and/or terminate the private dance at anytime, but failed to do so. They similarly acknowledged having the ability to cry out for help, but failed to do so again. Lastly, they both admitted that when then dances were over, they did not accuse the dancer of unwanted sexual activity to the other attendants at the party, nor did they initially describe their sexual encounters as rape or sexual assault. The host also admitted that she took no action whatsoever to warn her co-worker or stop her from entering the bedroom for the private dance.
When the girls’ testimony ended, as did the trial. The prosecution’s follow-on witnesses offered no incriminating evidence whatsoever against the stripper. The next witnesses were police officers who participated in the investigation. The first officer testified about responding to the hospital to interview the co-worker female who went there to be examined. On cross-examination, the officer admitted that the female appeared emotionally okay to her. The detective who investigated the case focused his testimony on the overall investigation, evidence collected, people interviewed and the man’s statement. He admitted on cross-examination that no one saw or heard a thing with respect to the private dances and that the physical evidence collected proved two things the defense had admitted: the fingerprint established the stripper’s presence in the bedroom and the DNA and condom established that he had sex with one of the alleged victims. The detective conceded, begrudgingly, that the only evidence of unwanted sexual contact as charged was the word of the alleged victims. The detective also detailed his encounter with the stripper in terms of their phone call and encounter at the police station. While he wanted to focus on the man’s denial of sexual contact with the alleged victims, he was forced to admit on cross-examination that the man was quite cooperative. All of the information provided to police by the stripper was independently investigated and determined to be true. The detective also confirmed repeatedly, in response to questioning by Attorney Calcagni that his client ultimately admitted sexual contact with the two women, but denied over and over again that his actions amounted to rape or sexual assault. The prosecution’s last witness was the sexual assault nurse examiner. While she testified that she examined the co-worker, she acknowledged no evidence of physical injury indicative of sexual assault.
After the prosecution’s witnesses, the State rested. The Defense then rested as well with Attorney Calcagni strategically deciding to not call any witnesses or present any affirmative evidence in his client’s defense. The parties then made closing statements, first Attorney Calcagni and then the prosecutor. Attorney Calcagni focused on the alleged victim’s testimony, voluntary actions in the living room and inside the bedroom with the stripper, decisions to select the private dances, and actions of undressing and participating in sexual contact with no verbal or physical resistance. He weaved the facts of the case neatly into this theme of remorse and regret, which prompted the women to react with false allegations. Though the prosecution did its best to recover from Calcagni’s argument, the jury was not persuaded. After nearly four hours of deliberations, the jury returned verdicts of not guilty as to each of the four charges of Rape and Indecent Assault and Battery.