YOUNGSTOWN Rape victima testifies
The victim said the men took turns at her like kids sharing a water fountain.
By BOB JACKSON
VINDICATOR COURTHOUSE REPORTER
YOUNGSTOWN -- Brandon Moore never looked up at the young woman who sat sobbing on the witness stand Thursday in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court.
Instead, he kept his head down, shuffling through papers as the woman, a petite, 22-year-old blonde, tearfully told jurors how Moore and his friend, Chaz Bunch, repeatedly raped and sodomized her Aug. 21, 2001.
"They just kept taking turns, switching back and forth," the victim said. "It was almost like they were little kids taking turns at a water fountain. It went on forever. They kept switching like it was nothing."
Bunch, 17, and Moore, 16, are on trial for multiple counts of rape, kidnapping and aggravated robbery. They are being tried as adults.
A third suspect, Andre Bundy, 19, faces charges of aggravated robbery. Police say he was present at the rape scene but did not participate.
In testimony frequently interrupted by heaving sobs, the victim described how her attackers kept guns pointed at her. She said she feared for her life and constantly begged them to not kill her.
She described how the men laughed through her screams and pleas for them to stop.
Moore's lawyer, Damian Billak, said in his opening statement Wednesday that Moore participated only because he'd been threatened by a man named Shortie Mack, who has never been identified by police as a suspect.
But the victim said no one forced Moore to assault her.
"Nothing was enough for him," she said. "Anything he could take, he took. Anything."
One juror, an older woman, squeezed her eyes shut as the victim recounted being assaulted over the trunk of her own car.
The victim said it was Moore who first accosted her outside the Detroit Avenue group home where she had just arrived for her midnight shift of work. He forced her into her car at gunpoint and drove away, with her in the passenger seat. They followed another car in which Bunch, Bundy and another man, Jamar Callier, were riding.
Callier has already pleaded guilty and is expected to testify against the others. He faces a seven-year prison sentence. Judge R. Scott Krichbaum delayed sentencing until after the trial.
The victim, a native of Pittsburgh, said Moore seemed infatuated with her, telling her over and over how beautiful she was.
Robbed of jewelry
Then he turned aggressive and demanded her jewelry, she said. She handed over her diamond earrings, her watch and an antique diamond ring. He did not take the gold cross she wore on a necklace.
A short time later, Bunch got into the back seat of her car and rode along with them to an isolated location just off Market Street, where the rape took place, she said.
When Bunch pointed a gun at her mouth and said he was going to kill her, Callier pulled him off the victim, helped her to her car and told her to leave, she said.
"I just went hysterical," she said of her demeanor as she drove away. "I was a mess but I just couldn't believe I was still alive."
She said she escaped with her life, but a part of her died that night.
"They killed a part of me," she said. "They killed a part of my soul that I can never get back."
Testimony was to continue today in Judge Krichbaum's courtroom. The Vindicator does not identify victims of sexual assault.