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Monday, January 21 , 2019, 12:40 pm | Fair 62º


18-Year-Old Victim Testifies in Santa Maria Trial About Alleged Rape in Santa Barbara

The now 18-year-old victim of an alleged sexual assault in Santa Barbara nearly three years ago told a Santa Barbara County Superior Court jury on Tuesday about the attack behind businesses near State Street.

Defendant Ryan Craig Stevens, 51, a transient, is charged with kidnap for rape and forcible rape in the Sept. 21, 2013, incident involving the then-15-year-old girl.

“He raped me,” the woman said, while testifying in the Santa Maria trial on Tuesday morning.

She was the first witness called in the trial following opening statements on Tuesday as a jury listened to the testimony in Judge John McGregor’s courtroom.

The girl, referred to in court as Jane Doe, said she had been drinking with friends when she left The Habit Burger Grill to seek more alcohol from a nearby CVS Pharmacy.

As she walked, Stevens, an acquaintance, guided the girl off State Street to a dark area with a trash bin and concrete, she said. 

“I didn’t really want to go but I was extremely intoxicated so I wasn’t able to use all my force,” the witness said. 

But Stevens pulled her off State Street, pushed her down, took off her pants and got on top of her, she testified. 

“I remember him touching my breast,” she said under questioning from Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Karapetian. “I just started blocking most of it out.”

The girl put her head down and began crying on the stand, prompting the judge to call for a break so she could regain her composure. 

Asked if she recalled whether the man wore a condom, the witness said, “I do not remember exactly, but I believe he might have.”

After the attacked, she said, she pulled up her pants and ran away, calling a friend on her cell phone.

“All I could say is I got raped,” she said, before Karapetian played a recording of a statement the witness made to friends after the attack. 

The woman said she didn’t immediately report the attack to police because she had been drinking and was on probation. The day after the attack, she underwent a sexual assault exam.

“I didn’t want to talk about it,” she said.

“Why is that?” Karapetian asked.

“I didn’t want it to be real,” the witness replied. 

Under questioning from defense attorney Adrian Galvan, the woman said she drank a lot of alcohol — whiskey, beer, wine, etc. — on a regular basis three years ago because she hated herself.

Before the 18-year-old took the witness stand, the defense attorney claimed the girl and Stevens drank alcohol together previously.

Since Stevens was on parole at the time, he wore electronic monitoring equipment that kept track of his location, according to Galvan, who told the jury he intended to call an expert to testify about the Global Positioning System data. 

Stevens likely will testify in his own defense, Galvan added. 

The defense attorney acknowledged Stevens previously committed heinous acts, but added the man was convicted and served time for those offenses.

Stevens, who appears on the registered sex offender list, previously was convicted of oral copulation with a minor under 14 years of age by force or fear, oral copulation with a minor under 18 years of age, rape by force and rape of a drugged victim. 

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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