• Prescriptions an issue at rape trial
    By Eric Blaisdell
     | March 27,2013
    Vermont Ravens Photo

    Dane Martin, 24

    BARRE — The accuser testified and the prosecution rested Tuesday in the trial of the former Vermont Ravens semi-pro football player accused of raping the woman at a party the night before the 2009 championship game.

    The trial of Dane R. Martin, 24, of Barton, charged with one count of felonious nonconsensual sexual assault, entered its second day in Washington County criminal court in Barre. If convicted, Martin faces a maximum of life in prison and a $25,000 fine.

    The woman said she went to a party at the home of one of Martin's teammates and that Martin attacked her there. She said he followed her into the bathroom and proceeded to rape, strangle and bite her. The woman struggled when describing photographs of her injuries that were taken shortly after the incident.

    Martin's attorney, Maggie Vincent, asked the woman about several medications for which she had prescriptions at the time of the incident. The woman confirmed she was prescribed Zoloft, Trileptal, lorazepam and tramadol hydrochloride to help her feel calm and for pain from injuries she suffered in a car accident.

    Dr. Daniel Wilson, who signed off on the woman's release from Central Vermont Medical Center after the alleged rape, testified that drinking alcohol with those medications can exacerbate the possible side effects of drowsiness and, in the case of Zoloft, tramadol hydrochloride and Trileptal, hallucinations and detachment from reality.

    The woman was asked by Vincent if she had any problems remembering what happened on the night in question. The woman said she was certain that certain things happened that night but unclear on the order.

    The woman called Martin days after the incident, with police listening in, as she said she wanted answers to why Martin did what she accused him of doing. Vincent asked the woman why she did not bring up her saying “no” or “stop” when they were on the phone. The woman said she was advised by police to keep Martin talking and she did not want to have him get angry and hang up.

    The woman testified that she has hip dysplasia and, according to the police affidavit, during the sex act her legs were bent in such a way that she thought her legs were going to pop out of their sockets. Vincent asked if she said anything about her hips to Martin when the incident was taking place. The woman said she did not. Following up on the question about the woman's hips, Deputy State's Attorney Megan Campbell asked the woman what her emotional state was during the alleged incident.

    “I was terrified. I didn't know what to think at that point,” she said, adding she was crying. Campbell asked the woman if Martin had given any indication he would listen to her if she said she was in pain from her hip condition. The woman said he did not.

    Vincent questioned her about a phrase she had used during her deposition for the trial. The woman described herself as “naturally friendly” and said some had mistaken her flirtatious nature as being a “slut.” The woman said she was concerned with that characterization and was trying to avoid that kind of situation in this incident.

    Barre Police Officer Jonathon Houle also testified for the state. Houle said he and another officer went to the home in Barre Town where the party took place.

    Houle said Martin looked out a window when police arrived, went back upstairs and did not join the rest of the people in the house when police were talking to them after they were let inside. Houle said Martin did eventually join them but stayed halfway up the stairs and did not join the group.

    The trial is to resume today with the defense starting its case.



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