Editor’s note: This story contains the description of a violent encounter between people and references sexual assault and rape. 

ITHACA, N.Y. — A fight that happened on a boat last summer — leaving a man with a permanent scar on his lip and blurred vision — was discussed in court with two parties telling two completely different narratives: one claiming the fight was a drunken brawl stemming from jealousy and the other saying the fight was self-defense against a sexual assault and attempted rape.

Christy M. Tucker is charged with fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon and two counts of first-degree assault due to the Aug. 23, 2015 incident.

Both parties agree that a group of friends were on a boat out on Cayuga Lake that day, drinking and enjoying a beautiful summer day.

But the party came to a screeching and abrupt stop when the fight broke out.

Assistant District Attorney Eliza Filipowski, who is prosecuting the case, gave the following narrative:

Tucker and her boyfriend, along with the alleged victim and a female relative, were on the boat since about 11 a.m.

“This was a fun, beautiful, normal day. There was a teenager there. People were enjoying each other’s company,” she said.

At some point, though, amidst the drinking of Patron tequila and Corona beer, Tucker’s boyfriend touched her groin area. There was apparently no issue taken at the advance. But then the boyfriend made a pass at another woman, possibly trying to do the same thing.

“This beautiful day shattered at this moment,” Filipowski said. “Christy Tucker — the tornado — embarked on her violent outburst.”

Tucker allegedly began attacking her boyfriend and the one of the men on the boat tried to pull her off his friend. Tucker then directed her anger at the other man, hitting him in the head with a bottle of Patron. The fight continued and she allegedly hit him in the face with a bottle of Corona, spitting his lip.

“There was blood on the floor. There was blood all over the boat,” Filipowski said.

The man was taken to Cayuga Medical Center and then transferred to Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse.

The 58-year-old man, Filipowski said, initially told the hospital he fell on the boat to protect his friends. But after being hospitalized for several days, made a report of the alleged assault to the New York State Police.

Tucker said nearly a week after the incident that she did hit the man but that she did so in self-defense because of an alleged sexual assault and attempted rape.

“There was no rape. There was no attempted rape. There was no sexual assault,” Filipowski said, adding that Tucker made up the story to cover up her violent and unreasonable assault.

She reminded jurors that even if they had an inkling that some kind of inappropriate sexual advance was made toward Tucker, she asked them to consider whether beating a person so badly they were left permanently disfigured, with damaged orbital sockets and blurred vision was a reasonable response.

Defense Attorney James Baker adamantly denied that narrative.

He said there was drinking happening on the boat and admitted that some people drank more than others. But the alleged victim is the one that was out of control.

He said the man had a BAC of .239 percent hours after the incident, an indication of his impairment that day.

“He was highly intoxicated,” Baker said.

He went on to say that Tucker was going into the cabin of the boat when the drunk man reached from behind her as she was descending the stairs and touched her groin area.

“She reacted as any reasonable person would react,” Baker said. She punched the man in the chest and told him to not touch her. “That should have been the end of it.”

But Baker said the man then started attacking Tucker.

He allegedly grabbed tucker, puller her onto the deck and began fondling her.

The man, more than 6-feet-tall and more than 200 pounds, then put her into a headlock and then began punching her. Tucker’s boyfriend, described as having a small frame, tried to help her but was also punched.

Tucker — who is 5-feet-6-inches tall and weighs just over 120 pounds — was still trying to escape the man’s hold on her.

“She punched, she used whatever she could,” Baker said. At one point, Tucker kneed him in the face causing the split lip.

He said that there is photographic evidence of Tucker’s injuries.

Baker said that as the evidence is presented, jurors should remember that the prosecution’s stories has inconsistencies and changes to fit their narrative.
Correction: The other female on the boat the day of the incident is NOT the alleged male victim’s girlfriend, as originally reported. She is a relative.

Jolene Almendarez

Jolene Almendarez is Managing Editor at The Ithaca Voice. She can be reached at jalmendarez@ithacavoice.com; you can learn more about her at the links in the top right of this box.