Woman recants story of rape

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BRATTLEBORO, Vt. (AP) – The woman who accused a former state trooper of raping and threatening to kill her has recanted her story and the charges in the case should be dropped, the man’s lawyer says.

St. Johnsbury lawyer David Sleigh filed papers in Vermont District Court for Windham County saying the charges against his client, David Lay, should be dismissed.

Sleigh said the alleged victim recanted her earlier story during a sworn deposition March 17. He also said in his filing with the court that police officers’ statements about what the women told them should be barred from evidence because they are hearsay.

The woman’s charges were separate from an obstruction-of-justice case in which Lay, 40, is charged with asking another trooper to destroy evidence. That evidence allegedly included drug paraphernalia stored in Lay’s office desk and the glove compartment of his cruiser.

Lay, who had left the state police as at least two investigations by its internal affairs unit were under way, pleaded innocent to the obstruction-of-justice charges. To do so, he had to fly home from Iraq, where he was working for a military contractor training Iraqi security forces.

Sleigh said if the charges against Lay go forward, he should be tried separately for separate incidents. He argued that “there is no evidence to suggest that any of the charged offenses were committed as a result of a plan, let alone as part of a common scheme.”

The lawyer said that putting Lay on trial on multiple charges stemming from separate incidents would unfairly prejudice the jury, which would come to believe that “where there’s smoke there’s fire.”

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