Rockport man accused of sexually assaulting passed-out woman on trial

Posted Sept. 18, 2012, at 12:17 p.m.

ROCKLAND, Maine — The trial began Tuesday morning in the case of a 27-year-old Rockport man accused of sexually assaulting a young woman who had passed out at his home after a night of drinking.

William S. Holbrook is charged with gross sexual assault and the trial is expected to last through Wednesday in Knox County Superior Court.

Assistant District Attorney Christopher Fernald told jurors in his opening statements that the victim had gone out drinking at the Smokestack Grill in Camden on the night of July 30, 2010. At that night spot, she met up with friends and decided eventually to go to the home of one of her friends.

The woman eventually passed out around 3 a.m. on the couch at the friend’s home. The prosecutor said the woman woke up at 5 a.m. to find her female friend’s boyfriend having sex with her. The victim was shocked and pushed Holbrook away, Fernald said. The assistant district attorney said the victim will tell jurors that Holbrook acted as if he had not done anything wrong and acted as if she owed him sex since she stayed over at his place.

The woman left the residence and went directly to another female friend’s home to report the sexual assault. The victim did not want to go the police because she was afraid it would be a waste of time, Fernald said.

Ultimately, the friend convinced the woman, who was living in Belmont, to go the hospital where she was checked for possible rape and evidence was gathered. Police were called and a search warrant was done at Holbrook’s residence.

DNA evidence will prove Holbrook had sex with the victim, Fernald said.

Defense attorney Steven Peterson urged jurors to keep an open mind and pointed out that the standard of proof was high to prove the alleged crime.

Peterson said the matter will come down to the credibility of the witnesses.

Justice Donald Marden is presiding over the trial.

A jury, including two alternates, of 12 women and two men is hearing the case.

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