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Cape man found guilty of 2004 rape

Thursday, February 7, 2008

After nearly four hours of deliberation Wednesday, a jury of five men and seven women decided that Samuel Taylor, 30, of Cape Girardeau, was guilty of a forcible rape committed in 2004.

The jury voted Taylor not guilty of the first-degree robbery charge he'd been facing.

The rape and alleged robbery had gone unsolved until a DNA test three years later linked Taylor to the crimes.

Circuit Judge William L. Syler set the sentencing hearing for March 31. He faces up to life in prison.

The 62-year-old victim testified Tuesday and Wednesday that she had been walking home from a friend's house on Ranney Avenue in Cape Girardeau during the early morning hours of March 12, 2004, when she was attacked.

She testified during direct examination by prosecutor Jack Koester that she was struck in the head and knocked unconscious. When she woke up, she could feel her assailant on top of her, she said, but when she began to plead for her life, he struck her again, knocking her out. The second time she regained consciousness, she said her purse, shoes and undergarments were gone.

During cross-examination, Taylor's public defender, Amy Metzinger, asked the victim if she had left later than her roommate that evening to walk home because she was looking to buy drugs, which the woman denied, saying she had never used drugs.

A physician at Southeast Missouri Hospital testified during cross-examination that he did not screen the victim for drugs because her demeanor did not indicate that she had been on drugs. He also testified that a pelvic exam revealed three tears to her genital region but no semen was found during the exam.

Cape Girardeau detective Debi Oliver, who investigates sexual assault crimes, testified that the victim had suffered lacerations to her forehead and left cheek, and her knees and ankles were scraped and bleeding, as though she had been dragged.

During an interview with Oliver and another officer, Taylor denied recognizing pictures of the victim.

He told police that she may have looked like someone from the neighborhood near Fountain, William, Middle and Good Hope streets, but that he didn't think he knew her.

When asked if he might have had sex with her, Taylor said he might have had consensual sex with her after offering her drugs, Oliver testified.

He called the exchange of sexual favors for drugs "tricking off" and said it would have been the only way he would have had sex with an older woman like the victim, she testified.

Oliver also showed the victim an eight-man photo lineup, and she identified a man as her attacker that was not Taylor, saying she had seen him five times around her neighborhood. Oliver provided her with a cell phone so she could make contact with police in the case she should see him again.

Diane Higgins, a criminalist, testified that the dress the victim wore the night of the attack had a stain on the back that lab tests later revealed to be semen.

Jason Wyckoff, a DNA analyst at the Missouri State Highway Patrol crime lab, testified that a DNA profile taken from the semen sample and a sample provided by Taylor were entered into a database that gives a statistical match. Only one out of 6.788 quadrillion people would have profiles matching that closely, Wyckoff testified.

On cross-examination, he said the numbers only tell part of the story and do not explain when the semen stained the dress, nor whether it was a result of rape.

Metzinger said in her closing argument that the evidence presented left "almost innumerable questions," and that the rape and robbery did not happen.

"It is no wonder more women don't report rapes," Prosecuting Attorney Morley Swingle said during his summation.

Swingle referred to the defendant's insinuation about the sexual act occurring as payment for drugs as "sliming by a scoundrel."

bdicosmo@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 245


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another great line by morley....

-- Posted by talley on Thu, Feb 7, 2008, at 1:21 AM

Let me tell you what I know...Decipher it as you will.

I was date-raped back about 1991. Yes, Rohypnol. Look it up...

I remember the scenario clearly...

The law enforcement tend to prey more on alcohol and marijuana...whatever...

I woke up HOURS later, completely naked. I knew what happened to me. By the time I got my clothes on,

THEY from Chicago, were gone...

You guys are barking up the wrong tree...You're focusing on the little stuff..you better go for the man-made synthetic stuff. It's far more dangerous.

-- Posted by leighann457 on Thu, Feb 7, 2008, at 3:15 AM

Public Defender=Guilty.

-- Posted by Ike on Thu, Feb 7, 2008, at 8:06 AM

I think Swingle is 100% correct with his take on this case. Disgusting conduct by the defense.

-- Posted by just_winky on Thu, Feb 7, 2008, at 8:21 AM

Every stain tells a story! Just ask Monica Lewenski.

-- Posted by EZ Rider on Thu, Feb 7, 2008, at 10:26 AM

I'll bet this guy gets released as innocent when you forget about it. the story seems concocted. don't tase me morley!!!

-- Posted by wyndiciti on Thu, Feb 7, 2008, at 11:24 AM

I'll bet this guy gets released as innocent when you forget about it. the story seems concocted. don't tase me morley!!!

-- Posted by wyndiciti on Thu, Feb 7, 2008, at 11:25 AM

This guy is not innocent. He was convicted by DNA evidence. Thanks to the lawmakers who passed laws for convicted felons to give up thier DNA for testing, he was convicted. I just wish their was death penalty for these sick individuals.

-- Posted by JaxIndians01 on Thu, Feb 7, 2008, at 4:12 PM

Public Defender = Public Pretender

-- Posted by JaxIndians01 on Thu, Feb 7, 2008, at 4:14 PM

This slimeball has quite the Case.net file. I hope our justice system actually does it's job & he gets the years in prison that he deserves.

-- Posted by CapeRes on Thu, Feb 7, 2008, at 8:54 PM

"Cape Girardeau detective Debi Oliver" What? Debi Oliver is a Detective with Cape Police? You have got to be kidding me.

-- Posted by Overwatch on Fri, Feb 8, 2008, at 9:21 AM

Yowzer!! A four page case.net file. Put his a$$ in jail this time, huh?

-- Posted by I'm_just_sayin' on Fri, Feb 8, 2008, at 11:26 PM

That's low to accuse a 62year old woman for being a drug addict. Would she accuse her if she was 80years old. I hope he gets whats coming to him.

-- Posted by energizer on Sun, May 10, 2009, at 4:10 PM


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