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Jury deliberates teen rape case

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CANTON — Closing statements in the rape trial of a Waddington man left two attorneys battling for a jury’s favor Friday morning.

Evidence and testimony in the trial of Patrick R. Wright, 31, of 158 Tiernan Road, began and concluded Thursday, and defense attorney Denise Smith said there were essential elements of that presentation of facts that were missing.

Wright is charged with first-degree rape, third-degree rape, three counts of first-degree criminal sexual act, three counts of third-degree criminal sexual act, acting in a manner injurious to a child and first-degree unlawfully dealing with a child.

He is alleged to have provided a then 15-year-old with four vodka-based drinks on Feb. 2, 2012, then engaged in multiple sex acts with the teen by forcible compulsion.

During her testimony, the teen told the court that she had taken pictures of her vagina following the alleged rape as evidence. Additionally, she said, she had text messages between herself and Wright about the night in question.

When state police Investigator Leslie A. Loran took the stand, she testified that the phone had been sent to a forensics lab, but Ms. Smith asked where that evidence was during testimony.

“You heard her say that the cellphone was sent to a crime lab, but it wasn’t produced as evidence, although there were photos of her vagina following the alleged rape, along with phone records, none of which were produced,” Ms. Smith said.

Ms. Smith added that the teen had trouble recalling things during her interview, such as the length of time of the alleged attack, and originally reported she was raped on Friday — not Saturday, as Wright’s indictment said.

“You would think with how serious these allegations are, you would remember,” Ms. Smith told the jury. “She is giving you these vivid details a year later, but she couldn’t remember two months later during her interview?”

“There are no photos, no rape kit, no medical records,” Ms. Smith added. “You get one girl’s word.”

But St. Lawrence County District Attorney Mary E. Rain said the ability to remember such a traumatizing incident would be difficult for anyone, especially after consuming alcohol and marijuana.

“That was the point of [Wright] giving her all that,” Ms. Rain said. “Alcohol and drugs and being in a scary situation skews your timeline. Time stands still. Think about that.”

Ms. Rain said the teen’s testimony and Wright’s statements were consistent with one another, that he was drinking tall cans of beer and vodka, which she said he told Investigator Loran during his April 1 interview.

“She said he was house-sitting; he said the same. He said his brother went to work at 11 p.m.; she said she went to the house at 11 p.m.,” Ms. Rain said. “This corroborates what she said. She couldn’t know he was going to say these things.”

“He groomed her for 1 years from giving her cigarettes, alcohol and marijuana,” she said.

And on the night the alleged rape took place, Ms. Rain said, Wright’s mother’s house was the perfect place for such a crime to take place, with no one home and no one within earshot.

“And the final indignation … was when he said to her, ‘How does it feel to be taken by a real man?’” Ms. Rain told the jury. “I want you to tell him how it feels to have a guilty verdict from a real jury.”

The jury began deliberations at 12:35 p.m. Friday but was unable to reach a verdict by 4:30 p.m., when it was let go for the weekend by St. Lawrence County Judge Jerome J. Richards.

Deliberations are scheduled to resume at 9:15 a.m. Monday.

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