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Horrific accusations made in Fair Lawn rape trial

Photo Credit: Mary K. Miraglia, CLIFFVIEW PILOT Courthouse Reporter
Photo Credit: Mary K. Miraglia, CLIFFVIEW PILOT Courthouse Reporter

EXCLUSIVE: “You know how I get when I get angry. Sometimes I can’t control myself around you,” George Sanchez told his fiancé the night of March 17, 2012 to try and discourage her from filing charges against him, authorities said.

What he didn’t know was that she was talking to him over her cellphone speaker at Fair Lawn police headquarters, where detectives were listening, a prosecutor said this week.

Sanchez’s rape trial continued yesterday in Hackensack with defense attorney Benjamin Morton countering that prosecutor’s don’t have the evidence to support the victim’s contention that his client repeatedly raped her, tried sodomizing her with a lubricated, steel-toed boot and inserted a sneaker in another opening.

Sanchez, of Fair Lawn ( above, right ), is charged with three counts of assault — including one aggravated sexual and the other sexual.

Earlier this week, Assistant Bergen County Prosecutor Demetra Maurice told jurors that Sanchez attacked the woman in a jealous rage, handcuffed her, and spent the next 20 hours alternately beating and sexually assaulting her.

The pair met at a lounge in Paterson where the woman worked as a social greeter, chatting up male customers and getting them to buy drinks. He was 53 and she was 26.

They hit it off, began dating and quickly moved in together.

She considered Sanchez “a very sweet and nice man” and eventually quit work so she could cook, clean and take care of him and their home. They redecorated and brought her young daughter from Maryland to live with them.

Then came a text message from a former boyfriend.

The woman said she wasn’t interested and hadn’t been in contact with him, but Sanchez didn’t believe her, Maurice ( bottom, right ) told jurors.

“He hit her in head with a steel-toed boot that caused a concussion,” she said.  “He hit her repeatedly, choked her, called her a whore and handcuffed her in the bedroom.”

She was confined for hours, beginning at 10 o’clock one night and lasting until 6 p.m. the next, the prosecutor said.

“Every so often he would uncuff her, hit her again, and curse at her,” Maurice said. “He took the steel-toed boot he had used to kick her in the head, put Vaseline on it, and tried to ram it up her anus. He raped her, threatened to kill her, and tried to force a sneaker into her vagina.

“He got a fork and said ‘I’m going to kill you’.”

Maurice said police found the fork sticking out from under the mattress, along with the smeared boot and sneaker, when they searched the house.

Those items, as well as sheets from the bed, were never sent for forensic analysis, Morton noted. As a result, he said, there is no biological evidence tying Sanchez to the alleged assaults.

“There should be physical evidence.” said Morton ( bottom, left ). “There’s got to be something to prove that he did these vicious things.

Pubic hair, semen, feces, skin cells or hair follicles would have sufficed, the defense attorney said, adding that there should also have been biological matter on the boot tip in addition to the Vaseline. It was never analyzed, however.

Maurice said Sanchez handcuffed the woman’s hand to her foot – in what is known as “the flamingo” – and was taking a shower when she got hold of the handcuff key and freed herself.

The naked woman grabbed a jacket and pair of pants and ran out of the house, then dressed outside in the dark, the prosecutor said. She called her ex-husband’s father from a pizzeria up the street, telling him: “Please take me to the hospital.”

Once there, she refused a rape test. Nor did she go to the police, staying she didn’t want Sanchez to go to prison.

A few days later, she and former father-in-law went to retrieve her belongings. But, Maurice said, he refused to give them up.

It was then that she went to Fair Lawn police, told them what had happened and signed a consent for them to search the house, she said.

Morton tried to question the woman about the rape kit, but Superior Court Judge Edward A. Jerejian wouldn’t allow it.

There followed a lengthy discussion, without jurors present, of an implication by Morton that the two had a history of violence.

Maurice told the judge she should be able to allow the victim to testify to past incidents, given that Morton opened the door in his remarks.

Jerejian rejected the request, however, saying that such a statement “is not evidence.”

The trial resumes Tuesday morning.

STORY / PHOTOS: Mary K. Miraglia, CLIFFVIEW PILOT Courthouse Reporter

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