Closing Arguments Given in Trial of Former San Jose Police Officer Who Allegedly Raped Woman - NBC Bay Area
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Closing Arguments Given in Trial of Former San Jose Police Officer Who Allegedly Raped Woman

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    Closing Arguments Given in Trial of Former San Jose Police Officer Who Allegedly Raped Woman
    SJPD
    Mug shot of San Jose police officer Geoffrey Graves.

    Closing arguments were presented Wednesday in the trial of a former San Jose police officer who allegedly raped a woman at a hotel in 2013.

    In her closing argument this afternoon, former officer Geoffrey Graves' attorney Kristin Carter called on the jury to question why they should believe the victim's testimony.

    Carter said the sex between the woman and Graves, 40, was not a "vicious rape," but a consensual act.

    While on the witness stand the woman said she was sober during the early morning of Sept. 22, 2013, when officers responded to her apartment on Greendale Way in San Jose after an argument with her husband.

    The argument took place after they attended a wedding in Napa, where she had five beers, and their 11-year-old daughter called police to report the argument, according to Carter.

    The woman testified that the disagreement was with her son, who didn't want to go to school, Carter said.

    Graves was one of five officers who responded to the residence and drove the woman to a TownePlace Suites by Marriott hotel on Saratoga Avenue, where she used to work and wanted to spend the rest of the night, the woman said.

    The woman's account on the witness stand was inconsistent with her interviews in 2013 with police, Carter said.

    The woman testified that on Sept. 22, 2013 she was sober and never sat down while Graves was in the hotel room, Carter said.

    The testimony is inconsistent with the woman's 2013 interviews with police when she said she was drunk, was pulled off a chair and thrown down on a bed, Carter said.

    The woman didn't tell anyone of the alleged rape until Oct. 13, 2013, when she was pulled over by the California Highway Patrol on suspicion of DUI and had her son in the car, according to Carter.

    A video of the DUI arrest showed she was angry and arguing with the officers, but not afraid as she had testified in trial, according to Carter.

    The woman didn't undergo a physical examination in the 21 days prior to the DUI arrest, Carter said.

    The woman had pleaded guilty to the DUI charge that gave her more reason to inquire about a U visa, which crime victims can obtain if they cooperate with an investigation, Carter said.

    Graves had lied to internal affairs investigators weeks later that he was in the hotel to issue the woman a case receipt on the domestic disturbance incident and use the bathroom, but did so to cover up the consensual sex in order to keep his job, Carter said.

    "Maybe he's a dog but he's not a monster," Carter said of Graves to the jury.

    A hotel receptionist testified that the woman and Graves were in the room for about 25 to 30 minutes, which was consistent with Graves' account in trial and supported with GPS records from his patrol car, Carter said.

    The receptionist helped the woman book a room and had previously worked with her, according to Carter.

    The receptionist testified that the woman came down to the lobby about 10 minutes after Graves left and appeared normal, with no signs of distress, Carter said.

    An officer who drove behind Graves and the woman to the hotel testified that the intoxicated woman was flirting with the defendant and her behavior made a 180-degree change from when they were at the apartment, Carter said.

    The woman's conduct following the intercourse with Graves was not \consistent with that of a rape victim, according to Carter.

    In a rebuttal, Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Carlos Vega said that rape victims react to the forced assault they experienced in different ways.

    Vega called on the jury to not determine if Graves was a monster, but if a crime occurred.

    The woman never testified that she consented to sex with Graves and never backed away from her assertion of rape, Vega said.

    The woman's blood-alcohol content was 0.18 during her DUI arrest, which for her may not have constituted being drunk, according to Vega.

    The woman had testified that Graves allegedly raped her for five minutes.

    Graves still had to spend the remaining time in the hotel speaking with the receptionist to access her room, go past the secured area, partially remove his clothing and get dressed, Vega said.

    Graves may have also spent additional time inside his patrol car before he left, according to Vega.

    A CHP officer who had encountered the woman during her DUI arrest testified that she was fearful of the officers, Vega said.

    The defense's case would have carried more "validity" if Graves hadn't taken the witness stand, where he had stumbled over his words and recalculated his answers while under cross- examination, Vega said.

    The woman had testified that she resisted Graves while in the room, according to Vega.

    "We know in today's day and age that no means no," Vega said.

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