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Jim Thorpe man on trial for rape, other offenses

Published October 04. 2011 05:01PM

A Jim Thorpe man went on trial Monday afternoon in Carbon County court on a charge of rape and other criminal counts.

Matthew D. Miller, 29, is also facing charges of aggravated indecent assault, unlawful restraint and sexual assault. He is accused of raping a then 22-year-old woman in a parking area of Flagstaff Park on Aug. 26, 2010.

The jury panel was selected in the morning and President Judge Roger N. Nanovic began the trial about 2 p.m.

The victim, now 23, testified that she and Miller were friends for about eight years prior to the assault but never had any other kind of relationship.

On the day of the alleged rape she said she called Miller and asked him to give her a ride from her Jim Thorpe home to the Carbon Plaza Mall for a hair cutting appointment she had made.

She told the jury she had called several friends for a ride but no one was available. Miller, she said, agreed to drive her if she gave him a "couple of bucks for gas."

After she was done at the hair saloon she returned to Miller's car and they headed back to Jim Thorpe. While traveling along SR209 in the Packerton area Miller turned off 209 and drove to the Flagstaff mountain area and pulled into a parking lot.

She and Miller got out of the car. She walked over to an area near a bench and looked at the view of Jim Thorpe while Miller was on his cell phone talking to his wife. She said she heard him tell her that he would be right home.

She said she got back into the car and put her seat belt on. Miller got in the driver's side and looked at her. She said the look was "creepy" and she was scared. She said Miller then opened his pants and exposed himself.

She said Miller then attempted to pull up her shirt and touch her breasts. She said she kept slapping at him and telling him "no, no" repeatedly.

She said she tried to open the door on the car but could not. Miller then exited the car and walked around to her side. She told the jury Miller opened the door and said to her, "You know you want it."

She said he unlocked her seat belt and began to sexually assault her by pulling down her sweatpants and panties and then had intercourse with her.

She said she continuously slapped at him and kicked at him trying to get him to stop. He finally did. He then returned to the driver's side and drove her home.

She told the panel that before getting out of the car at her home, Miller grabbed her face and asked if they coud get togehter again and she told him no. She also said he called her at her home and asked if they could get together and she again told him no.

She told the panel she didn't go to the hospital until about 10 p.m. the next day. At the hospital she was examined by a nurse and doctor and a rape kit was ordered by the doctor.

Under cross examination she told Defense Atty. George Dydynsky she waited to go to the hospital because she could not get a ride.

She also admitted some of the details concerning what happened at Flagstaff which she testified to were different than what she tesitifed to at a preliminary hearing held in December 2010.

Assistant District Atty. Michael S. Greek told the jury panel in his opening that there would be medical testimony from the nurse and doctor who saw the victim at the hospital and a forensic specialist.

Dydynsky told the panel that the incident was a "romantic event" and not a sexual assault.

Nanovic recessed the trial about 4:45 p.m. and told jury members it would resume at 9:15 a.m. today.

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