Friday, October 7, 2011

State: In letter from jail, suspect asks friend to file false report of a rape

A witness testifying in the rape trial of Elmo Rivadeneira said yesterday she was shown a letter in his handwriting that was sent from jail in which he asked a friend to help stage a rape, apparently to make it appear he was being framed.

There was also testimony yesterday that the letter contained packets of Rivadeneira’s bodily fluids, to be left as evidence. The implication being that it would appear as if someone with Rivadeneira’s DNA had committed the rape while he was behind bars and obviously innocent.

After yesterday morning’s testimony, the defense objected and the jury was excused. Arguments were heard by Hudson County Superior Court Judge Paul DePascale, who ruled that if jurors believed the testimony, they could consider it as possible evidence of the defendant’s consciousness of guilt.

“Clearly that is not conduct consistent with innocence,” DePascale said.

The man to whom the letter was written is expected to take the stand when the state resumes making its case Tuesday.