Update at 4:29 p.m. — Attorneys have chosen 11 jurors — seven women and four men — by the end of the court day Tuesday. It seems likely that one more juror and two alternates will be chosen Wednesday. Afterward, opening statements in the case will begin.
Update at 1:22 p.m. — Four jurors — one man and three women — have been chosen to serve on the jury. Potential jurors are called and questioned in groups of 18 until all jurors are selected.
ITHACA, N.Y. — The jury selection for a Dryden rape trial started Tuesday morning with 18 potential jurors being questioned about whether they are capable of being fair and impartial throughout the process.
“This is going to be an ugly, brutal and disturbing case,” Assistant District Attorney Diane Lama said.
Jeffrey Horton is charged with 10 felonies and six misdemeanors stemming from accusations that he contacted a woman he knew over the course of several days before breaking into her home and brutally raping her. He maintains his innocence.
In court Tuesday, Lama said, “Sex crimes aren’t committed at the middle of the field in Yankee Stadium.”
She said they’re committed in private with the hope that if the victim reports the crime, he or she will not be believed.
“What if I told you that the only evidence I can provide is testimonial evidence,” she asked. “Could you convict on testimonial evidence alone?”
She reminded jurors that testimonial evidence holds the same evidence as a gun would in a murder trial.
When Horton’s attorney, Kenneth Moynihan, of Syracuse, addressed jurors, he told them that one of the elements they should be concerned with throughout the trial is credibility.
“In this case, we are going to be talking a lot about credibility,” he said.
Moynihan went on to say, “Is there anyone sitting here today and thinks that woman would never lie about being raped?”
He said that acting in Horton’s defense, he’ll have to ask the accuser “very difficult questions” while she’s on the stand to best represent his case.
“I still know that can be offensive to people,” he said. “Sometimes the truth gets clouded by our sympathy.”
Horton is charged with the following:
— Third-degree menacing (Misdemeanor)
—Fourth-and-third-degree stalking (Misdemeanor)
—Second-degree unlawful imprisonment (Misdemeanor)
—Third-and-second-degree assault (Misdemeanor, Felony)
—First-degree sexual abuse (Felony)
—Third-degree aggravated sexual abuse (2 counts) (Felony)
—First-degree criminal sex act (Felony)
—First-degree rape (Felony)
—Second-degree burglary as a sexual motivated felony (Felony)
—Second-degree burglary (Felony)
— First-degree burglary as a sexually motivated felony (Felony)
—First-degree burglary (Felony)
No jurors have been chosen as of 1 p.m. Tuesday, but the selection process will continue throughout Tuesday afternoon.