The Latest: Senator's lawyers question accuser's credibility

AP News
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Posted: Jun 15, 2016 3:41 PM

ST. ALBANS, Vt. (AP) — The Latest on the sexual assault trial of Vermont state Sen. Norman McAllister (all times local):

2:45 p.m.

Lawyers for a Vermont state senator charged with sexually assaulting a woman who worked for him are trying to challenge her credibility.

Republican Sen. Norman McAllister of Franklin County could get up to two life sentences if he is convicted of the two sexual assault charges he is facing. The 21-year-old accuser worked on his farm in Franklin and as an assistant at the Statehouse in Montpelier.

Defense lawyer David Williams has been trying to undermine her story.

He noted that the woman said her hair was dyed purple at the time of the first sexual assault. Williams used photos from her Facebook page to indicate she did not dye her hair purple until nearly a year and a half later.

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12:20 p.m.

A woman who accused a Vermont state senator of sexual assault has testified at his trial about two encounters.

The 21-year-old woman worked for Republican Sen. Norman McAllister on his farm in Franklin and as a legislative assistant.

She described being forced into oral sex in a barn and intercourse at his home.

McAllister's attorney was expected to cross-examine the woman Wednesday afternoon.

McAllister maintains his innocence, and last month declared his candidacy for re-election.

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10:30 a.m.

The start of a sexual assault trial of a Vermont state senator has been delayed amid a dispute over media access.

The trial of Republican Sen. Norman McAllister of Franklin County was expected to start Wednesday morning. But the state first requested that the woman accusing McAllister be neither video- nor audiotaped.

A lawyer for the Burlington Free Press and other media members objected, particularly to any ban on audio recordings of the alleged victim's testimony.

After a hearing that stretched throughout the morning, Judge Robert Mello ruled that audio recordings would be allowed but not video or still photos of her.

McAllister has been suspended, with the criminal case pending.

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12:05 a.m.

A suspended Vermont state senator could get up to two life sentences if he's convicted of two counts of sexual assault involving a now 21-year-old woman.

Norman McAllister goes on trial on Wednesday in St. Albans.

The alleged victim is expected to be the first witness called to testify before a jury of seven men and five women. She'll be followed by police officers, some of McAllister's legislative colleagues and two news reporters who have covered the case.

The Senate in January voted to suspend the 64-year-old Franklin County Republican.

The alleged victim worked for McAllister at his farm, and later as an assistant at the Statehouse.

McAllister maintains his innocence, and last month declared his candidacy for re-election.