The defense rested Sept. 25 in the first-degree rape trial of Clay Conaway after more than a week of testimony. Closing statements were scheduled at 1 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 26, in Sussex County Superior Court.
Delaware State Police Detective David Kristunas was the only witness called to testify Sept. 25. Defense attorney Natalie Woloshin asked him whether the Millsboro woman who has accused Conaway of raping her at his Georgetown home showed signs of pain when interviewed hours after the alleged assault and again six days later.
“Did she ever complain about her legs or hips?” Woloshin asked, adding whether he saw the woman have any difficulty walking, sitting or standing.
“No,” Kristunas said.
Woloshin then submitted a photo of the woman sitting with her legs crossed on June 26, 2018 – about six days after she alleged Conaway raped her – while in the Delaware State Police Troop 4 interview room.
Under questioning by Deputy Attorney General Casey Ewart, Kristunas said the interview room is very cold, giving a possible reason why the woman's legs were crossed.
Earlier in the trial, defense attorney Joe Hurley had said Conaway might take the stand to testify, but the defense rested without calling him. Meeting with reporters outside the courthouse, Hurley said they decided to not call Conaway to the stand because the state had already played a video recording in court of Conaway's interview with police after his Aug. 20, 2019 grand jury indictment.
“To get up here and repeat the same thing to the jury is going to bore the hell out of the jury, and Joe don't bore juries,” Hurley said.
Before Conaway left court, Sussex County Superior Judge Richard F. Stokes asked him about testifying, and Conaway told him it was his choice not to testify.
In other business, Stokes denied a defense motion to reduce the first-degree rape charge to second-degree rape.
Woloshin said the state never proved that the alleged assault caused the woman’s hip pain, and no one testified about the hip pain besides the woman and her mother.
“The state did not present any expert testimony,” she said.
Citing several court cases in which a victim’s account was used with no expert opinion, Stokes said common experience support those cases without expert opinion.
“There’s enough to move this forward to the jury,” Stokes said. “Whether the jury believes this is something they will have to decide … it’s for the jury, in my view.”