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Judge to rule on evidence from prior rape cases

March 02, 2007|by DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, PA. - The attorney for a former Hagerstown man accused of raping two women is asking a Franklin County judge not to allow evidence from two Maryland sexual assaults to be used in his client's trial.

"We believe the prejudicial effect would outweigh the probative value," Gary Knaresboro, the attorney for Pov Srun, told Judge John Walker. Knaresboro said Thursday that Srun entered plea agreements in the two Maryland cases and "We don't want to argue all four cases" in a trial.

Assistant District Attorney David Rahauser wants to enter into evidence a deposition from one of the Maryland victims and a transcript of a video tape interview by a Montgomery County, Md., detective with the other victim.

"Neither victim in Pennsylvania could identify her assailant," Rahauser told Walker. The video tape transcript and the deposition will "establish a connection with the DNA and modus operandi," he said.

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The prosecution also wants admitted a transcript of the August preliminary hearing from the Pennsylvania cases.

Walker did not immediately rule on the defense motion, but continued the hearing until April 11 to allow Rahauser and Knaresboro to submit written arguments.

Srun's case is listed for the May trial term.

Srun, 35, is serving a 35-year sentence in Maryland resulting from a plea agreement in 2004 and 2005 cases in Montgomery County.

In Pennsylvania, authorities in Waynesboro, Pa., and Chambersburg have charged him with forcing two women into their vehicles at shopping centers, driving them to a remote location and sexually assaulting them before returning them to the shopping centers.

The first case took place Sept. 16, 2004, when a 16-year-old Smithsburg, Md., girl was kidnapped as she was leaving her job at Kmart in Waynesboro. The second happened Sept. 28, 2004, outside the Weis Market in Chambersburg where the victim, a 20-year-old woman, was leaving her job at a bank.

In the first case, the woman testified at the preliminary hearing that the assailant had pieces of duct tape on his face. The assailant wore a ski mask in the second attack, according to that victim's preliminary hearing testimony.

DNA collected from a rape kit in the Chambersburg assault and from a hat band in the Waynesboro incident was later matched to one of the Maryland attacks, according to court records. Those samples matched Srun's DNA after his arrest for an attempted assault in Maryland, police said.

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