By Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm -
The recent trial involved two New York City police officers accused of raping a fashion executive, after helping her out of a taxi at the end of a night of drinking. Without physical evidence (the department's search of the apartment yielded nothing, and the accuser herself had showered), the case depended on the credibility of testimony. A key moment came when earlier grand jury statements were entered into the record, as John Eligon of The New York Times describes the scene:
To spectators in the Manhattan courtroom, it was a mundane moment: a court stenographer reading in a monotone voice the testimony of a woman who said she was raped by a police officer.
Later, in a verdict prompting local outrage, the jury acquitted the two officers, despite security cameras showing that the officers had visited the woman's apartment three more times during the night, and despite one of the officer's admission on tape that he had sexual contact with the woman - and remember, she was so intoxicated she could not get out of a cab on her own. So, why the acquittal? According to one of the jurors, it came down to the delivery mode of this critical testimony.