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Waddington man takes stand in sex-assault trial

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CANTON — A Waddington man accused of attempting to sexually assault three women on separate occasions in 2010 took the stand in his own defense Monday afternoon in St. Lawrence County Court.

James Sabre Jr., 44, of 56 Oak St., was called to the witness box at 4:10 p.m., and was questioned by defense attorney Peter A. Dumas for about 20 minutes before court was adjourned for the day.

According to prosecutors, Sabre knew all three women and tried to force himself on each of them: at the youngest woman’s home when he knew she was there alone; another time at the entrance to a bar when he took a woman there late one summer night to retrieve a lost phone; and the third time at his own residence, where he had driven a woman after a night of drinking.

The first woman, 25, testified Friday. The other two women testified Monday, but Sabre was only questioned about the mobile-phone case before day’s end.

Sabre described a “night of dancing, drinking and hanging out” and drug use at a Waddington bar the evening of Sept. 17, 2010, the night before prosecutors say he entered the first woman’s nearby mobile home at 6 a.m. and tried to force her to have sex with him.

“We were doing pills and smoking pot, the four of us” in the bar’s kitchen, Sabre said.

That quartet included himself, the woman whose home he allegedly entered the next morning, her boyfriend and another woman he allegedly tried to assault during the summer of 2010.

The 25-year-old woman testified Friday that she couldn’t remember whether she had smoked marijuana that night, but insisted she had never taken pills. That alleged victim also testified that she had never had sexual relations with Sabre, a friend of her boyfriend, but may have engaged in “flirty” behavior with him in the past.

Mr. Dumas on Monday called to the stand Amy L. Miller, a Waddington resident who referred to herself as “bar friends” with the alleged victim and said she saw the woman performing oral sex on Sabre in the bar’s kitchen one night in late 2009 or early 2010.

Assistant District Attorney Amanda N. Nissen asked Ms. Miller if she was headed into the bar’s back room in search of drugs.

“Yes, ma’am,” Ms. Miller replied.

Ms. Nissen asked Ms. Miller if she had been arrested before, asking case-by-case about petit larceny, criminal personation and DWI charges dating back to 1997.

“That has nothing to do with how well I can see,” Ms. Miller said.

Sabre denied he ever entered the woman’s mobile home that Saturday, but knocked on her door to ask about a ride to a pig roast later that day in South Colton. He said she became agitated, started looking for her mobile phone, ran out and drove away.

The woman had testified that she woke up to the sound of Sabre in her bedroom, where he tried to assault her.

“I never left the doorway,” said Sabre.

Testimony is set to resume this morning with Sabre on the stand. Judge Jerome J. Richards told jurors the case could be in their hands by day’s end.

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