LIVINGSTON COUNTY – The young Springwater man charged with 18 felony counts of rape took the stand Wednesday to completely deny ever having sex with either of two teenage girls.
LaDue, 21, said that he did not have sex with a teenage girl numerous times while living with her family and did not have sex with another underage girl on one other occasion.
“No I did not,” testified LaDue, his suit jacket slightly too big for his shoulders, whenever asked if he had sex with either girl.
“I would never do that with her,” he said of one witness. “I thought of her as a little sister from even before I lived there.”
Three of the 18 charges were dismissed with no opposition from the District Attorney’s Office because the prosecution offered no evidence supporting those specific instances of sex acts and instead focused on the other 14 counts of felony Rape in the Second Degree.
According to NYS Penal Law Section 70.30, LaDue could be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison if found guilty of more than three counts of Rape in the Second Degree. He consistently refused offers by the DA’s Office of a guilty plea to a lesser charge, 6 months in jail and 10 years on probation.
Assistant District Attorney Victor Rowcliffe called 1o witnesses to the stand. The GeneseeSun.com is withholding the names of the complaining witnesses, who are two teenage girls, and the mother of one of the girls. Witnesses for the prosecution were: both girls; the mother; Deputy Scott Patterson; Deputy Matthew Thomas; Deputy Michael Williams; Deputy Geoff VanDunk; Investigator Gene Chichester; forensic expert Bryn Joslyn; and Springwater Town Justice Donald Haywood.
Complaining witnesses testified that LaDue lived with the family of one girl and was considered part of the family until the allegations arose, and testified to the specific sex acts that they allege occurred. Police testified that the investigation and evidence handling was done as it would be in any case.
LaDue’s defense attorney, Livingston County Assistant Public Defender Lindsay Quintilone, says that LaDue maintained his innocence from the very first police interview. She called Investigator Dan Rittenhouse to the stand to replay parts of an interview he had with one of the complaining witnesses.
She called into question the admissibility of evidence based on the way it was handled, specifically saying that socks given to investigating Sheriff’s Deputies that allegedly contain biological evidence from LaDue could have been tampered with, either before being given to police by the mother or on their way to the crime lab in Monroe County. Judge Robert Wiggins allowed all of the socks to be entered as evidence.
Both the prosecution and the defense rested Wednesday.
LaDue and the jury will return to the Livingston County courthouse Thursday morning to hear closing statements by Quintilone and Rowcliffe. The jury is then expected to deliberate on a verdict.