RACINE — Racine County prosecutors will ask the state Attorney General’s Office to appeal a ruling made Wednesday in a rape case, which allows a defense lawyer to question the alleged victim about whether she lied about other sexual partners.
Douglas R. Kramer, 23, of Mount Pleasant, is accused of having sex with a female in his home sometime overnight between Aug. 3 and Aug. 4, 2012, after a group was kicked out of another home where they had been attending a house party, according to court records. Prosecutors charged Kramer in August 2012 with second-degree sexual assault because the female was too drunk to give consent to have sex, according to his criminal complaint.
Kramer’s defense attorneys, lead by Mark Richards, seeks to question the female during Kramer’s trial about DNA evidence showing that three males had sexual contact with her within days of the alleged rape. But since she denied having sex with them, Kramer’s attorneys seek to question the female about whether she lied to an investigator and nurse after the sexual assault was reported.
During a hearing on Wednesday, Assistant District Attorney Randy Schneider said the female will testify that “‘I didn’t have sex with anybody consensually.’ So now what’s going to happen is an assumption is going to be made that she’s lying and this DNA is going to come in. (Defense lawyers will) bring in DNA and call her a liar. This is exactly what (the) Rape Shield (law) is designed to prevent.”
Schneider said jurors would hear that the female previously had sex with her boyfriend. However, he said they don’t know when the other two males had sex with the female, and during what circumstances.
“A consensual act with a boyfriend does not equal this case,” Schneider said.
Racine County Circuit Judge Charles Constantine said this case is classic — pitting the credibility of Kramer versus that of his alleged victim.
“Her assertion that she has absolutely no memory is something for the jury to weigh,” he said. “I can’t make the decision that she’s telling the truth, and I can’t make the case that she’s lying. In fact, she says (she has) no memory, so there’s an assertion she might have been unconscious.”
Richards said if the female wasn’t truthful with the Mount Pleasant police investigator and nurse who examined her, that’s a matter for jurors to decide.
Constantine ruled that defense lawyers may ask whether she was truthful with the nurse and investigator, and about her motive for not being truthful.
“I’m going to have to appeal this,” Schneider immediately told the judge, asking to push back Kramer’s jury trial, which was scheduled to start March 25.
“I have to ask the Attorney General’s Office if they will take an interlocutory appeal,” Schneider said.
An interlocutory appeal is filed during the middle of a case, before a person has been convicted and sentenced.
Constantine said defense lawyers cannot delve into the nature of the sexual contact, just that there was sexual contact with three males.
The female reported that she might have consumed four beers during the night, and at some point passed out. Her friends then carried her upstairs and placed her on a bed in a guest room, according to investigators.
Later, a man checked on the female and discovered Kramer having sex with her, according to the complaint.
Downstairs, he told his friends Kramer was having sex with the female and her friends ran upstairs because they said she was drunk and suspected something was wrong, the complaint stated.
When the female opened the locked bedroom door, she was naked from the waist down and didn’t know what had happened, the complaint stated. Kramer wasn’t in the room and a window screen was off.