Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Man convicted on rape regarding woman he met at bar

(Original Story 5-31-08)
Shaun Tappendick, 27, was convicted of rape, aggravated burglary and attempted criminal sodomy for a sexual attack on a woman he had met at a Salina, KS bar on July 31, 2007. He was convicted by a Saline County District Court after under three hours of afternoon deliberations Thursday, May 29. Bond was revoked and Tappendick was taken to the Salina county jail to await sentencing July 16.

Much of the testimony during the trial centered around the timeline of the night's events and cell phone calls made by Tappendick and his accuser.

"The time frame doesn't fit, and that's where the burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt comes in, as well as the lack of evidence," defense attorney Roger Struble told jurors during his closing argument.

Witnesses testified that Tappendick and some of his friends went to two bars, the accuser's home and a private house party that night. Tappendick left the party about 3:30 a.m. and arrived home sometime shortly before 4 a.m., defense witnesses said.

The defense claimed Tappendick had been at the woman's home briefly after leaving a bar earlier in the night, but did not return.

Struble asserted that Tappendick would not have had time to drive from the party to the accuser's home, pry open a window, assault the woman and make it home between 3:30 and 4 a.m., when his now ex-wife testified that he got home.

The prosecution argued that after Tappendick left the party, he made several calls to his accuser. Those calls went unanswered because the woman was in bed, said Prosecutor Christina Trocheck, an assistant Saline County attorney.

The last of those calls was made at 3:33 a.m. No more calls were made from Tappendick's phone until 4:03 a.m.

Trocheck said that during that time, Tappendick drove to the accuser's home, used a tool to pry a screen off the window and attacked the woman, who was asleep in her bed.

Tappendick's 4:03 a.m. phone call was to a friend. The victim also called a friend about the same time. Trocheck said both calls were made just after Tappendick left the woman's house.

In the 15 minutes following the attack, Tappendick left two messages on the accuser's phone. Records indicate that in both messages, he apologized for "that." The defense asserted Tappendick's apologies were for an altercation he had been in at the bar earlier in the night with the accuser's ex-boyfriend.

Trocheck said that didn't make any sense. The altercation would have happened hours prior and Tappendick, according to both his and the accuser's testimony, had seen the woman since that time.

"It's crystal clear what he was apologizing for," Trocheck said.

(Update 8-26-08) Tappendick was sentenced to 12 years, 11 months for the rape.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The worst part about this case, is the guy is innocent. As a woman in the community who knew both "victim" and "guilty party"-- this was a total false charge brought on by a person who didn't want to get caught cheating.

Rape cases are horrible; either for women who have truly been victimized or men who become the victims.