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November 11, 1993 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 1993-11-11

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The Michigan Daily - Thursday, November 11, 1993 - 7

Man whose penis was severed by
wife acquitted of marital rape

WHERE THERE'S SMOKE...

MANASSAS, Va. (AP) - John
Bobbitt, whose wife cut off his penis
in retaliation for alleged sexual abuse,
was acquitted yesterday of raping her.
The jury rejected the argument that
she "struck out at the very thing that
harmed her.'
Bobbitt's wife, Lorena, will be
tried 'on Nov. 29 on a malicious
wounding charge. She faces up to 20
years in prison, as herhusbandhad on
a charge of marital sexual assault.
The jury of nine women and three
men deliberated about four hours be-
fore returning the verdict.
Bobbittjumped from his chair and
hugged his lawyer, Gregory Murphy,
then buried his face in Murphy's
shoulder as Bobbitt's aunt shouted,
"Oh Lord, thank you!"
Mrs. Bobbitt wasn't in court.
"I'm thankful to the jury. They
believed me," Bobbitt told reporters
after the verdict was announced. "I
just want to get on with my life."
In closing arguments, the pros-
ecution and defense focused on in-
consistencies in the couple's stories
of what happened the night of June
23.
"Why did she cut his penis off?
Something happened and I submit to
you something sexual happened that
offended her and drove her over the
* edge,"prosecutor Paul Ebert declared.

She "struck out at the very thing
that harmed her, the thing that hurt
and she severed it," Ebert said.
Mrs. Bobbitttestified thatherhus-
band woke her, pinned her to their
bed, yanked off her underwear and
raped her.
Bobbitt testified that he initiated
sex and his wife didn't resist. Murphy
saidMrs. Bobbitt concocted astory of
sexual abuse because she was angry
over the dissolution of their four-year
marriage.
Juror William Vogt said later that
"the proof just didn't exist for the
majority of us."
"The prosecution tells you that
two wrongs don't make a right. Well,
that's right," Murphy told the jury.
"The emasculation of John Bobbitt is
the first wrong. The second wrong is
the fabrication of facts in this case."
After cutting off her husband's
penis, Mrs. Bobbitt said, she fled their
apartment and threw the severed or-
gan out her car window.
Police found it in the grass and it
was reattached in a nine-hour opera-
tion.Bobbitt isrecovering but has not
yet regained sexual function, doctors
said.
Murphy listed a half-dozen points
where Mrs. Bobbitt's testimony ap-
parently contradicted other witnesses
or her previous statements.

He said she gave conflicting state-
ments about where she was on several
dayspreceding the alleged attack, and
took scissors toher underwear to make
it appear they were ripped off her
body.
A Virginia Crime Lab scientist
testified the tear appeared to come
from force, but an expert witness for
Bobbitt said the panties were cut.
Murphy noted testimony from a
woman who accidentally hit Bobbitt
on his bicycle with her car a few days
before the alleged attack. The woman
testified she saw Mrs. Bobbitt at the
couple's apartment when the woman
delivered a new bicycle to Bobbitt.
MurphysaidMrs. Bobbittwasjeal-
ous of the woman and stared out the
window while her husband assembled
the bike and talked to the woman in a
parking lot.
Bobbitt was charged with marital
sexual assault, not rape, because un-
der Virginia law the latter only ap-
plies to couples living apart or if the
victim is seriously physically injured.

ONa THAN WLURIE1Oaity
Lt. Jim Kay of the Ann Arbor Fire Department is one of three officers training the Ann Arbor Firefighters in their
newest tool, the Paladin. As a combination spreader and cutter, the Paladin is a smaller version of the Jaws of Life.
Seven cars have been tom apart this week as the entire crew trains with the new equipment.

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Would you sacrifice your life for your beliefs?
Dialogues
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