Tuesday, October 27, 2015

North Carolina Court Case Will Bring You to Tears

"Crying can be used as evidence against spouse, court rules; N.C. judge rules privilege doesn’t apply in case" by Martha Waggoner Associated Press  October 21, 2015

RALEIGH, N.C. — The case involves alleged serial rapist Lesiba Simon Matsoake, a South African man who appealed his conviction in the rape of a woman on a Kill Devil Hills beach in June 2003. His now ex-wife, Ruth Hart, testified that she first became suspicious of her husband when he started crying while looking at a composite sketch of the attacker, presumably a drawing that looked similar to him.

Shortly after the rape, Matsoake and Hart were traveling from their home in Point Harbor, N.C., to a doctor’s appointment in Virginia Beach, Va. Hart was driving. Matsoake was sitting in the passenger seat reading the paper.

‘‘I heard like water, I heard a tear drop hit the paper and I looked over and [the defendant] was crying,’’ she said at trial, over the objection of Matsoake’s attorneys.

Although Hart called Crime Stoppers several times over the years to find out whether anyone had been arrested in the rape, she didn’t go to police with her suspicions until March 2007, nearly four years later, when the couple was living in Virginia Beach.

Matsoake was indicted in June 2008, but by that time, he was living in his native South Africa. He was extradited in January 2012.

In addition to his crying, Hart also wondered whether Matsoake was the rapist because she knew he went to bars, including the one where the victim was, three or four nights a week.

DNA found on the victim matched DNA found in electric hair clippers that Matsoake had used, the evidence showed.

Matsoake was convicted of first-degree rape and sentenced to 20 to 25 years in prison. Because the appeals court decision was unanimous, the Supreme Court doesn’t have to consider the case if it is appealed....

Which means they won't be getting at it this term.