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Thomas Bray rape case now in judge's hands

By Mackenzie Wilson
Published On: Jul 25 2012 03:19:24 PM CDT
Updated On: Jul 25 2012 09:19:33 PM CDT

NewsChannel 21's Mackenzie Wilson reports as the prosecution and defense make their closing arguments in Thomas Bray's rape trial, leaving his fate up to the judge.

BEND, Ore. -

Closing arguments in Thomas Bray's rape trial took place Wednesday, offering two sharply conflicting portraits of his relationships with the two women who have accused him of raping and assaulting them.

Even though the former COCC anatomy instructor is no longer a practicing anesthesiologist, a prosecutor argued Bray "used his medical degree to manipulate women, and ultimately used it to rape women."

Deschutes County Deputy District Attorney Brigid Turner told Judge Stephen Tiktin (who is hearing the case after Bray waived his right to a jury trial) that the alleged victims in the case are both very different.

One is a 22-year-old ex-lover and student of Bray's when he briefly taught anatomy and physiology at COCC.

Turner says that woman, who is 16 years younger than Bray, wanted to please him.

She said the 38-year-old groomed her by "trying to strip her of her personal boundaries," always asking her to do more sexual acts, ones that previously were beyond her limits.

Bray's defense attorney, Stephen Houze, told the judge the woman, "drank like a fish." He added that text messages reveal the woman begged Bray to have sex with her -- the night after she alleges he strangled and raped her.

Refuting prosecutors' idea of what the young woman is like, Houze questioned: "Naive, gullible, groomed and taken advantage of? I think not."

Houze said the state has done a curious thing by trying to prove the alleged victims in the case are "good girls."

Prosecutors say the woman may have consented to having sex with Bray on the night of Feb. 11, 2011, but she did not consent to being strangled.

The accuser testified that while she was handcuffed and blindfolded, Bray put his bathrobe belt around her neck and choked her until she passed out.

Turner says after that act, the sex was no longer consensual.

The sex between Bray and the second alleged victim, Turner said, also was not consensual.

The 25-year-old woman met Bray on an online dating site and had drinks with him on Feb. 25th, 2011.

She testified Bray raped, choked and sodomized her for hours in his apartment that night after she agreed to have a glass of wine and chat a little longer.

But Houze told the judge the woman is not who she says she is.

She had told the judge she set boundaries, testifying she told Bray she does not sleep with someone who is not her boyfriend.

Houze went after that comment, saying the woman had rough sex with Bray, and later had a distaste for it.

"That doesn't make her a 'bad girl,' he added. "We don't have the 'morals police'."

The woman says Bray choked her until she lost consciousness -- and when she woke up, she testified, he was still raping her.

Turner told the judge that Bray was "having sex with her unconscious body, like she was dead, like a dead body."

However, Houze said the woman's clothes, not her testimony, tell the real story of the night in question.

That's because one of her shirts was ripped -- but not the tank top she had under it  -- and her bra was also ripped.

Houze asked the judge, "How do you rip alternating layers of clothing? Answering his own question: "You don't, because you can't."

Of intense interest to Houze was the woman's toxicology results, which showed she had marijuana in her system after the alleged assault.

He says that's important, because when the sexual assault nurse at St. Charles Medical Center asked her what drugs she'd been doing, she said none.

Houze closed his case by saying: "If you can't trust her, you can't convict him. This is America, we don't do that here." Houze then asked the judge to return verdicts of not guilty.

Turner, meanwhile, urged Tiktin to convict Bray on nearly a dozen counts of sex abuse, some with mandatory sentences of years in prison, under Measure 11.

At the earliest, Judge Tiktin said he will return a verdict on Monday at 2 p.m.

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