York Fair rape trial jurors get second look at alleged victim's statements
Jurors spent about 35 minutes Wednesday watching video of the forensic interview of a 14-year-old girl allegedly gang raped after being lured from the York Fair by three schoolmates.
Now 16, she testified from the witness stand Tuesday, May 7, but had difficulty remembering details of the attack. Jurors learned Tuesday that the girl initially lied to police and her family about being abducted and thrown into a vehicle as she walked home from the York Fair the night of Sept. 16, 2017.
She testified that she lied because the defendants in the case — Kelvin Mercedes, Andrew R. Miller and Daishon Richardson — threatened her.
"I didn't tell at first because I was scared ... (of) the boys," she said. "They told me not to say anything. They said they would hurt me."
Mercedes and Miller are 17; Richardson is 18. All three live in Manchester Township. They remain free on bail, charged with rape and related offenses.
All three defendants were 16 at the time they were arrested and maintain the sexual contact with the girl was consensual.
On Wednesday, May 8, prosecutors played 36 minutes of the girl's Sept. 26, 2017, Child Advocacy Center forensic interview to show jurors that the girl's recollection of events was better then — and to show that the sum and substance of her allegations 10 days after the alleged attack largely jibe with her trial testimony this week.
In the videotaped interview, the girl provided details she couldn't on Tuesday, such as who was holding her down as she was being raped, which teens ordered her to perform certain acts and the gender of a person — male — who picked up the foursome afterward.
'Numerous injuries': Testifying Wednesday were two York Hospital employees — forensic nurse examiner Michelle Frey, who examined the girl within hours of the alleged rape, and Frey's supervisor, forensic nurse program coordinator Tracy O'Brien.
O'Brien reviewed Frey's findings and conducted a follow-up exam of the girl on Sept. 27, 2017, according to her testimony.
O'Brien told jurors the girl suffered numerous injuries to her genital area, including two tears to her hymen and bruising.
She described the girl's injuries as being consistent with nonconsensual sexual intercourse, but on cross-examination said she could not rule out that the sex was consensual.
Frey testified the girl complained of being in significant pain and was tired of having to repeat over and over what happened to her.
The allegations: Prosecutors allege Mercedes, Miller and Richardson lured the 14-year-old away from the York Fair the night of Sept. 16, 2017, by telling her they wanted to show her a dead body.
"I didn't tell at first because I was scared ... (of) the boys," she testified Tuesday. "They told me not to say anything. They said they would hurt me."
The prosecution alleges the defendants took the girl to several secluded areas in West York, including the yard of an apparently abandoned home.
They are accused of forcing her to perform oral sex on her then vaginally raping her, according to testimony.
The girl testified that Mercedes had a handgun tucked into his boxer shorts and that he waved it around near her face.
Prosecutors have one more witness to call on Thursday, May 9, before resting their case, according to presiding Common Pleas Judge Harry M. Ness.
But prior to that, the prosecution will allow the defense to call a witness out of order, the judge said.
The medical expert is being allowed to testify out of order because she flew in for trial from out of state and needs to leave, according to Ness.
— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at email@example.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.