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Jurors meet to decide Dykes’ fate

Sam Davis | Monday, September 15, 2003

Jury deliberations are expected to begin Monday in Donald Dykes’ trial where a Notre Dame student alleged he raped her.

The defense rested Friday after calling only three witnesses, while the prosecution had called 13 since the trial began Tuesday. Dykes, who pled not guilty, did not testify during his trial. He is charged with rape, conspiracy to commit rape and sexual battery. The woman maintains she was gang raped by the four former players, who are being tried separately.

John Scroggins, Smith’s roommate, testified Friday that he did not hear any screaming or sounds of distress from Smith’s room, which is adjacent to his, that night.

Michael Blakesley, a doctor at Memorial Hospital who examined the woman in the emergency room six days after the alleged incident, also testified for the defense and said she had no injuries consistent with rape.

On Thursday, Bill Kirk, associate vice president for student affairs, testified and said it was University policy to provide students who claim they are victims of sexual assault with information regarding Notre Dame’s disciplinary process and contacting police or other support services.

Kirk denied telling the woman to avoid contacting the police, but he admitted that he possibly told her it would be difficult to contact the police and pursue an investigation.

Rachel Lee, a friend of Smith’s, testified Thursday and said she overheard Smith telling Dykes that they and Elam needed to discuss their stories and Dykes nodded in agreement.

The prosecution also called a DNA analyst who said the woman’s blood and Dykes’ semen were found on Smith’s comforter.

During Abram Elam’s trial, the first of the four, Elam, Dykes, Lorenzo Crawford and Justin Smith all testified, offering their versions of what occurred March 28 at Smith’s house and maintained the sexual acts were consensual. Elam was convicted of sexual battery and acquitted of criminal deviate conduct and conspiracy to commit rape.

The trials for the two remaining football players will begin later this year.

The South Bend Tribune contributed to this report.