Rape Trial Day 4: State’s Expert Refutes Defense Testimony

STEUBENVILLE The prosecution in the Steubenville rape trial called an expert witness this afternoon to rebut the testimony of a clinical psychologist called by the defense.

Laureen Marinetti, a forensic toxicologist, specializes in drug-facilitated sexual assault and told the court today that alcohol is the No. 1 drug involved in such crimes.

Marinetti disputed the psychologist’s estimate of the victim’s blood-alcohol content on the night of the August incident, saying there are too many unknown factors to accurately determine the girl’s level of impairment. Marinetti pointed to unknowns such as the proof of the alcohol involved, the size of the “shots” the girl consumed and the concentration of alcohol included in mixed beverages the girl reportedly was drinking.

Marinetti also noted the defense witness based her estimate on the testimony of people other than the victim.

Defense attorneys for the two Steubenville High School student-athletes accused of raping the Weirton girl maintain the alleged victim was lucid on the evening in question because she was able to give a pass code to her phone to other people. Marinetti said, however, that information of that type is retained in a person’s long-term memory and can be recalled even when one is impaired.

Proceedings in the case are expected to again continue late into tonight and resume Sunday. Reports indicate visiting Judge Thomas Lipps may temporarily halt the trial early next week, as he has other hearings scheduled.