FARMINGTON — It will be up to a jury to try to determine whether sex between two young people at a party was consensual or criminal.
Monday marked the first day of Chad A. Moss’ trial on charges of sexual assault and deviate sexual assault. A woman claims Moss had sex with her while she was passed out.
Moss, 22, of Desloge, was suspended from the Mineral Area College baseball team after the charges were filed in 2008.
For more than two hours Monday, a woman, who had been a high school senior at the time, testified about the events that happened the night of April 11, 2008.
The woman, who cried at times, testified she and two of her friends went to a party in Desloge where Moss and several other people were present. The woman and her friends brought a bottle of vodka.
She explained that she lived about six blocks from the party, but she had planned to spend the night at her friend’s house in Bonne Terre after the party. She had left her car in Bonne Terre.
She said shortly after she arrived at the party, Moss asked if someone could drive him to the liquor store a few blocks away. She said she volunteered since she was sober.
She said after they got back to the party, they sat around the kitchen table playing a drinking game. She said there were times she shared a chair with Moss, as well as her two friends, because there were not enough chairs. She could not recall if she sat on his lap but she was sure she didn’t put her arms around him or kiss him.
The woman said she had four or five cups of vodka and cranberry juice and by 11:30 p.m. her head and stomach were hurting. She said she decided to lie down on a futon in a bedroom that could be seen from the kitchen. She said her friends were still at the party at that time. She said she figured they would come get her when they got ready to leave.
She said a short time after she laid down, Moss walked into the room and then out of the room. She indicated she didn’t know Moss had been staying in that room.
She said her next memory is waking up at about 6 a.m. in the bed, not the futon. She said she was naked and Moss and another man were asleep on the futon. Her genital area hurt and she felt like something was on her face. The bed was also wet.
“I had no idea what had happened,” she said.
She said she put her clothes on and woke the men up, asking them what had happened. She said Moss ignored her and left the room. The other man said he didn’t know what happened but offered to take her to her car in Bonne Terre.
The woman said she sent text messages to her two friends asking them if they knew what happened.
The woman said she called and then went to see her sister-in-law. She said she was hysterical. She said she told her sister-in-law and brother what happened and they called her mom.
She said while there, Moss called her and told her that he didn’t remember what happened but another person told him they had sex. She said she had never consented to or agreed to have sex with Moss.
The woman’s mother was acquainted with Police Chief James Bullock and took her to the police chief’s house. Bullock told them to go to the police department and made sure that a police officer was there.
The woman said she talked to Officer Brad Judge, told him what happened and showed him the text messages. She also provided him with names of people who were at the party.
Afterward, she went to the emergency room at Parkland Health Center North in Bonne Terre for a sexual assault exam. She said it was humiliating but she went because her mother wanted her to go.
Moss’ attorney, Scott Rosenblum pointed out that until Saturday, the young woman’s mother was with her every time she made a statement to police, doctors and the prosecutor. The woman said she told her mom everything that happened.
The attorney asked why her she didn’t just walk home or to another relative’s house a few blocks away that night if she didn’t feel well.
Rosenblum also asked why her police report indicated her friends had already left by the time she laid down. “I remember them being there when I laid down,” the woman said.
He also asked her if her friend had repeatedly asked to leave. She said she did not remember her friend telling her it was time to go.
He asked her why she left things out of the police report like Moss had kissed her earlier and about sharing a chair with Moss.
Prosecuting Attorney Wendy Wexler Horn objected twice during Rosenblum’s cross examination, accusing Rosenblum of badgering the witness. The judge sustained her objections.
When Horn asked the woman if she was making the story up, the woman said, “Why would I put myself through this?”
The jurors heard from two other witnesses during the day.
An emergency room doctor testified that there was no sexual assault nurse working that day so he, along with a nurse, performed the exam. The doctor, who said he had no special training in gynecology or in sexual assault examinations, said he found a small tear and a small bruise in her outside genital area and signs of irritation inside her vagina.
He testified those were signs consistent with a sexual encounter. He could not, however, say with certainty if the sexual encounter was consensual or not. He said it is possible that the tear and bruise occurred because the woman was asleep or incapacitated. He said he did not believe a consensual sexual encounter would ordinarily result in even these injuries.
He said there was no findings as to penetration to another body part where the woman reported feeling pain.
A DNA analyst with the Missouri State Highway Patrol reported that the DNA swabs taken at the hospital came back negative for semen. There was semen found and tested on the woman’s underwear, shirt and jeans. Using statistics that varied from one in 939 to one in 141,200, she said Moss could not be ruled out as a contributing source.
The jury trial, which is scheduled for two days before Judge Kenneth W. Pratte, resumed at 8 a.m. today.
If convicted, Moss could face up to seven years on each charge.
Teresa Ressel is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-431-2010, ext. 179 or at email@example.com.