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Jim Thorpe man says sex was consentual

Published October 05. 2011 05:01PM

A Jim Thorpe man, on trial for rape and related offenses, told a Carbon County jury panel on Tuesday afternoon that the sex he had with the alleged victim was consentual.

Matthew D. Miller, 29, is facing charges of rape, aggravated indecent assault, unlawful restraint and sexual assault.

The jury panel of eight men and four women were expected to begin deliberations late this morning. Testimony in the trial, that began on Monday afternoon, concluded about 4:30 p.m. Tuesday. Closing arguments by Assistant District Attorney Michael S. Greek and defense counsel Atty. George T. Dydynsky, were scheduled to begin about 9:15 a.m. President Judge Roger N. Nanovic II was to charge the jury after closings and deliberations would then begin.

Miller is accused of raping a then 22-year-old Jim Thorpe woman at Flagstaff park on Aug. 26, 2010.

Admits sexual encounter

Miller admitted that he had sex with the girl but said it was consentual. He also said when she told him to stop, he did.

Miller admitted to much of what the victim told the jury on Monday as to the events of Aug. 26. He said the girl called him for a ride to the Carbon Plaza Mall where she was going to get a haircut. The two have been friends for several years.

After leaving the mall and headed back to Jim Thorpe, he turned off SR209 and ended up at Flagstaff park.

Miller said he went to the park because he and the girl wanted to talk and discuss things that were going on in their lives. He said he told the girl his wife had a miscarraige and he was upset and distraught about it.

He said at the park both got out of his car and were admiring the view. He said he then got a call from his wife and told her he would be home soon.

He said the two got back into his vehicle at which point he said the girl began to kiss him. He said he kissed her back and flondeled her. He said the girl never resisted or asked him to stop.

He told the panel, "I don't make a point of cheating on my wife."

He said they continued to kiss and embrace and attempted to have sexual intercourse but due to the vehicle's console were unable. He then got out of the car and went to the passengers' side. He said he pulled down the girl's sweatpants and underwear, adding that she helped him.

He said he tried to get on top of her as she sat in the passenger seat but could not because the seat could not be moved back. He said eventually he was able to have intercourse with her.

He said as he was having sex with the girl he noticed the two child safety seats in the back and that made him think of his children and wife and what he was doing was wrong.

He claimed at no time did the girl slap at him or push him away or kick him, as the girl claimed during her testimony.

Asked by Dydynsky if the girl did anything to stop the sexual encounter, Miller replied, "She didn't do nothing other than go home."

He admitted calling the girl later to see if she was alright.

He also admitted to a prior arrest in Schuylkill County in which he lied to police about his age and name and was charged with public drunkenness.

Under cross examination by Greek, Miller said of the sexual encounter, "It was a mutual thing."

Other witnesses

The Commonwealth concluded its case Tuesday morning.

Det. Lee Marzen of the borough police force and prosecutor in the case, said he was notified by the Lehighton hospital staff on Aug. 27 that they had an alleged rape victim. He said he went to the hospital and interviewed the girl, who told him Miller was the assailant.

He said he contacted Miller late that night and he came to the police station. He said Miller at first denied any sexual encounter with the girl but later admitted to having sex with her but said it was consentual.

Miller told the jury during his time on the witness stand that he at first denied the incident because he didn't want to embarass his wife and was ashamed for what he did.

Also called by Greek was Dr. Patrick Hanely, who was the emergency room physician, and nurse Marie Zedalis, who examined the girl. Both testified to their part in examining the girl for injuries. The nurse also administered a rape kit.

Linda M. Comerosky, of the state police crime laboratory at Wyoming, testified to examining the girl's clothing she wore during the incident for any fluids.

Among the witnesses called by the defense was Elwood Snyder, who cut the victim's hair and said Miller came into the salon with the girl.

Mrs. Barbara Miller, wife of the defendant, testified relative to their vehicle and the phone call she made to him while he was at Flagstaff park. She also said the couple are currently separated and she is considering filing for divorce.

The final witness was Joseph Chillari, a private detective hired by the defense, who gave measurements concerning the interior of the car and the working of the passenger seat.

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