Eric Grant trial scheduled to start Tuesday but role to be played by therapist & her notes still up in air
LACONIA — The attorney for Eric Grant continued to press the court to allow the records of the therapist who interviewed a now teenaged girl who has accused the singer of sexual assault at a New Years Eve party in 2006.
Atty. Emily McLaughlin renewed her plea in Belknap County Superior Court yesterday morning for allowing the notes of the therapist's interview with the alleged victim be used to impeach the testimony of the victim.
McLaughlin reiterated her request because she said her efforts to speak with the girl's counselor have been unfruitful and the subpoena to have her appear in court has yet to be served by the California sheriff's office charged with that duty. The trial is scheduled to begin Tuesday morning and the jury has already been selected.
The notes have been reviewed "in camera" or privately by O'Neill.
McLaughlin said that in one of the girl's initial statements to her therapist she said she was digitally assaulted by Grant in a room full of people that included her mother and her grandmother and that she screamed for help but no one helped her.
According to McLaughlin, the alleged victim told different stories at different times to different people — including the investigator and the therapist — about what she alleges happened that night and who was in the room to witness it.
McLaughlin said that in light of her repeated attempts to get the therapist to New Hampshire — something she said she has tried to do since Grant was indicted — the jury should be allowed to consider the notes as a rebuttal to the alleged victim's testimony.
"What's appropriate is a live witness," said Asst. Prosecutor Carley Ahern who objects to allowing the jury to review the notes.
She said agreeing to admit the therapist's statements is premature and that the defense has conceded that her mother was present in the past. "Any evidence can be fleshed out from the mother," said Ahern.
McLaughlin rebutted by saying that if the state wanted evidence then they should of made an effort to get her to New Hampshire.
"This gentleman," she said gesturing toward Grant, "is on trial for his life. No fair trial can be conducted without the notes."
She said the court should allow the records to be admitted and not let the witness's unavailability be introduced.
Grant has maintained his innocence since his December 2012 indictment. He has been free on personal recognizance bail.
Judge O'Neill said he would take the motions and oral arguments under advisement. As of 3 p.m. Friday, he had not issued a ruling.