Mom with stroller testifies in Detroit rape case

AP News
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Posted: May 31, 2012 3:56 PM
Mom with stroller testifies in Detroit rape case

A 37-year-old Detroit woman testified Thursday about being robbed while pushing her 7-month-old daughter in a stroller, forced behind a vacant house, raped and shot in the back when she tried to escape.

The woman said she truly began to fear for her life and the life of her daughter after the sexual assault, when her attacker ordered them into an abandoned house. She bolted, only to be shot in the back a few paces away.

"I took off running. I had to leave my baby so that I could save her and myself," the woman testified Thursday in a Detroit during the preliminary examination for the 18-year-old man charged in the April 12 attack. "I took off hollering and screaming for help, and he was shooting."

The woman was the only person to testify against Job Hughley, 18, of Detroit, who was later ordered to stand trial in the April 12 attack.

Hughley also has been ordered to stand trial in two other rapes earlier that month. A 20-year-old woman testified previously she was raped April 4 in an alley. A 22-year-old woman said she was raped April 10 near a school and in another location.

The Associated Press does not name victims of sexual assault.

The woman attacked on April 12 said she felt a "sting" in her back and "just dropped." Passers-by called police. Her child was not injured, and Hughley was arrested later.

He has been charged with several first-degree criminal sexual conduct counts, kidnapping and armed robbery in connection with the three attacks.

Hughley was silent during Thursday's hearing. He occasionally glanced up from the defense table at the woman, who at one point cried on the stand.

The graphic testimony caused the woman's 57-year-old mother to glare at Hughley. As she was being removed from the courtroom, she yelled out: "He raped my daughter!"

She was handcuffed and cited for contempt of court. The AP is not naming her to protect her daughter's identity.

The older woman later told The AP that her daughter was visiting her home in a working-class neighborhood of Detroit that has seen better days and decided to take advantage of the mild weather to walk to a neighborhood store for diapers.

"Her baby was out of Pampers," she said. "I told my daughter don't stroller my grandbaby because if someone attacks you how are you going to fight them?"

On the stand, her daughter said she gave the man two $100 bills hoping he would leave after approaching and announcing he was robbing her. Instead, he put his foot in front of the stroller and told her: "You're going with me," she testified. "My stomach just dropped. I was just in fear."

She was forced to push the stroller several blocks and behind the vacant house on a quiet Detroit street.

"He said he would kill me and my baby and anyone who tried to help," she said. "I couldn't defend myself. I had my baby. He kept his gun in his hand. He never put it down."

The woman said she was forced to take off her clothing and raped. She said she ran when her assailant then told her to push the baby and stroller into the house.

She spent about two weeks in a hospital after the shooting. The slug cracked a bone in her spine, fractured a rib and damaged part of a lung, she said.

Defense attorney Evan Callanan, Jr., said after Thursday's hearing that he expects Hughley to be seen by doctors at a state forensic center.

"The investigation of the mental defenses is going to start now," Callanan said.

Hughley is being held on $5 million bonds in each of the rape cases.