Second day of Damonte Dodd rape trial shows variations in witness accounts
The Prince George's County Circuit Courthouse. (Nora Eckert/For The Diamondback)
UPPER MARLBORO — On the second day of the rape trial for former Maryland basketball player Damonte Dodd, the state brought the accuser and four more witnesses to testify.
But as a handful of former and current University of Maryland students took the stand Tuesday at Prince George’s County Circuit Court, their testimonies only brought one thing to light — there are multiple discrepancies in the witnesses’ accounts of that Halloween night out almost two years ago.
Dodd met the accuser at Terrapin’s Turf on Oct. 31, 2017 and allegedly raped her at a Terrapin Row apartment in the early morning hours of Nov. 1, 2017. Dodd was charged with second-degree rape and assault in July.
The Diamondback does not generally identify alleged victims of sex crimes. The accuser’s name has been omitted to protect her anonymity.
The accuser, who participated in a direct examination Monday, testified first in court on Tuesday. But Jared Ungar — a resident of the Terrapin Row apartment and a friend of Dodd’s — testified and contradicted multiple points of her testimony.
On Tuesday, the accuser testified that Ungar had approached her at the bar and introduced her to Dodd. However, Ungar said after he and Dodd arrived at Terrapin’s Turf, two women — the accuser and her friend — approached Dodd.
After arriving at Terrapin Row, Peter Johnson, a resident of the apartment and a friend of Dodd’s who also testified Tuesday, said he found Dodd and the accuser in his bedroom. The woman was laying on her back on the bed, fully clothed, as Dodd sat on the edge looking at his phone, Johnson recalled. He was “annoyed” and asked them to leave, he said.
The accuser mentioned Monday she remembered throwing up in the kitchen and didn’t remember leaving the bar, walking to the apartment or being in Johnson’s room.
Ungar, meanwhile, said that he saw the accuser stick her finger down her throat to induce vomiting while at the apartment. He turned away but heard her throw up, he said. The woman testified that she did not make herself vomit that night, emphasizing alcohol alone was enough to cause it.
Eventually, Dodd, the accuser and Ungar were all in the living room talking with each other, Ungar said. He testified that at one point, Dodd told him, “She’s feeling better, so you can go to sleep if you want.”
Ungar went into his room and said he would come back to check on the accuser, which he said he did. Later, Ungar said he heard “kissing noises” and “moaning,” causing him to confront Dodd and the woman.
He testified that he explicitly asked Dodd and the accuser if they had sex. Both replied no, Ungar said. And when he asked again, they both denied it, he testified. When asked by Thomas Mooney, Dodd’s attorney, whether he believed them, Ungar said he was “skeptical.”
During his cross-examination of the accuser Tuesday, Mooney asked why she didn’t tell Ungar about the alleged rape that night or the next day, when Ungar sent her a Facebook message asking if she was feeling better.
“I was in denial and very depressed,” the woman said. She also said she did not tell police about the alleged rape right away because she didn’t want her mom or her younger sisters to find out.
On Monday, the woman testified she was drunk before she got to Terrapin’s Turf and was “still really drunk” during the alleged rape. Ungar testified that he gave her clothes and walked her down to the apartment lobby to meet her friend, who was with the accuser at the bar but got separated.
The accuser was walking in a straight line and had good balance, Ungar said.
Assistant state’s attorney Melissa Hoppmeyer also referred to the Facebook message Ungar sent the woman on Nov. 1, 2017, asking him multiple times if he had sent the message out of concern. Ungar said he couldn’t remember what he was feeling when he sent the message.
“You reached out to her,” Hoppmeyer said. “But that’s because she was a completely sober person in your apartment?”
The accuser’s friend, Arielle Carreau, was also called to the stand as a witness, and her testimony matched more closely with the accuser’s.
Assistant state’s attorney Vernon Brownlee asked Carreau, a University of Maryland student, if the accuser had said anything to her that night after they left Terrapin Row.
“[The accuser said] that Damonte took advantage of her while she was throwing up,” she testified.
Carreau corroborated the accuser’s testimony that the accuser was crying in the Terrapin Row lobby. The two women had cried together and fallen asleep in the friend’s bed after returning to Ellicott Hall, the witness testified.
Editor’s note: This story previously omitted Arielle Carreau’s name. This story has been updated.