Teen on trial for al­leged rape

Maryland Independent - - News - By AN­DREW RICHARDSON arichard­son@somd­news.com Twit­ter: @An­drew_IndyNews

A Wal­dorf teenager is on trial this week in Charles County Cir­cuit Court, ac­cused of rap­ing a 20-year-old woman in De­cem­ber.

The vic­tim told police that Travonne La­mont John­son, 17, al­legedly pinned her on the ground and raped her be­fore she was able to run out of a house to safety.

On Dec. 3 around 1 p.m., John­son be­gan tex­ting the vic­tim, telling her to come over, As­sis­tant States At­tor­ney Sarah Free­man told the ju­rors in open­ing ar­gu­ments.

She ini­tially de­clined the of­fer, but even­tu­ally John­son con­vinced her to come af­ter of­fer­ing to smoke mar­i­juana with her.

The vic­tim ar­rived at the res­i­dence in the 1200 block of Ban­nis­ter Cir­cle in Wal­dorf around 1:30 p.m. and was led into a bed­room by John­son be­fore he went up­stairs, telling her that he was re­triev­ing the mar­i­juana, ac­cord­ing to pro­ceed­ings.

When John­son re­turned to the room, he was naked, Free­man said. The vic­tim told John­son that she did not want to have sex with him, but when she tried to leave, John­son al­legedly tripped her, pinned her down, and forced him­self upon her. The belt on her jeans was bro­ken in the strug­gle, Free­man pointed out.

At first op­por­tu­nity, the vic­tim ran from the house and went home, where she told her sis­ter and friend about the in­ci­dent be­fore call­ing police, Free­man said.

She met with Det. K. Klezia later that day and al­legedly iden­ti­fied John­son.

De­tec­tives re­trieved a DNA sam­ple from John­son that same night and the vic­tim had a Sex­ual As­sault Nurse Ex­am­i­na­tion con­ducted, which later de­ter­mined John­son’s DNA was present, ac­cord­ing to court pro­ceed­ings.

As­sis­tant pub­lic de­fender Court­ney Dixon ar­gued that the sex was con­sen­sual.

“This woman has made a false ac­cu­sa­tion,” she said.

It’s not a ques­tion of whether or not they had sex, Dixon said, “the ques­tion is, why did they have sex?”

“They wanted to,” she con­tin­ued. “No other rea­son.”

Dixon said the vic­tim re­gret­ted hav­ing sex, so she made the al­le­ga­tion against John­son to “jus­tify her be­hav­ior.”

The trial is on­go­ing as of press time Tues­day.

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