By PEGGY SINKOVICH
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
WARREN -- A defense attorney says a 27-year-old city man, who is borderline mentally retarded, is innocent of raping an 18-year-old woman.
Atty. Anthony Consoldane of the public defender's commission told a jury in James Purdy's rape and kidnapping trial that his client thought he was having "consensual sex" with a girlfriend.
Purdy is facing three counts of rape and one count of kidnapping. If convicted he could face up to 40 years in prison.
Police say Purdy raped the woman July 6, 2000, in Packard Park.
"This is the first time he has ever had sex with a woman," Consoldane told the jurors. "What he did was wrong, but it doesn't rise to the level of rape."
Under oath: The victim, however, testified Monday that she did not know Purdy before the day she was raped. She said she was riding her bike and Purdy was walking in front of her. She said she stopped and asked him if he wanted a drink of her ice tea.
The woman told the jurors that Purdy asked her if she had a boyfriend and she said no. She said then Purdy asked her if he could be her boyfriend and she again said no.
The woman said Purdy then grabbed her wrist and forced her to go with him to a secluded area of the park where he raped her.
She testified that she believes the rape took place around 5 p.m., but she wasn't sure because she didn't have a watch.
When asked during cross examination by Consoldane why she didn't scream the woman said she was "too scared."
She further testified that after the rape, Purdy left and she rode her bike home. Once she got home she told her parents what happened and she went to the hospital, she said.