LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Warning: This story has some graphic sexual content.
In only 10 minutes, an Angelina County jury found a 33-year-old Lufkin man not guilty of sexually assaulting a woman at her residence on Sept. 2, 2012.
The trial was held in Judge Barry Bryan's 217th Judicial District. Rochele Alan Pounds had been held in the Angelina Jail on a second-degree felony charge of sexual assault since his arrest on Sept. 7 2012. His bail was set at $35,000.
The alleged sexual assault occurred on Sept. 2, 2012. During her testimony, the victim said, at the time, she was living with her mother and two daughters. Then she spoke about the time period leading up to the day she was allegedly sexually assaulted
After the alleged sexual assault was reported, two detectives from the Angelina cCounty Sheriff's Office interviewed the victim at her home and showed her a photo lineup of possible suspects. The victim identified Pounds as her attacker and explained that he has worked with her husband before. She also told them that she had given him a ride home when his vehicle broke down.
Authorities obtained a warrant for Pounds' arrest on Sept. 6, and he was arrested the next day.
Pounds' alleged victim was the first person to take the stand Monday morning.
She said that the first time she ever encountered Pounds was at a red light at the intersection of Lotus Lane and FM 3150. The victim said Pounds' car was stalled at the red light because he couldn't get it started.
"We were on our way back home from spending the day together," the woman said.
The alleged victim testified that she dropped Pounds off at his house and went home. Then, a few days later, Pounds called the woman to thank her.
"He said, 'I love you,' and I said, 'I don't know you like that,'" the victim said.
In her testimony, the victim told the jury that she didn't tell anyone about the conversation. She also said that she didn't see Pounds again until Sept. 2, 2012.
That night, the victim's mother was asleep, and one of the victim's daughters was sleeping with her. The woman told the jury that she heard a tap on the window. When she looked out the window and didn't see anyone, she laid back down.
"I heard another noise and went outside by the car port," the victim said.
The woman said, at that point, Pounds walked out and pushed her into her home's laundry room, where he sexually assaulted her. The woman told the jury that she never gave Pounds consent and told him to stop several times. In addition, she said she had bruises from where Pounds held her down
"He asked me if I was OK, and I told him no, and he said he'd be back the next night," the victim said.
The woman told the jury that she called her friend and told her that she had been raped. The friend then called the police. Doe was taken to Livingston for a SANE exam she said authorities brought her a line-up sheet and she was able to identify Pounds.
The alleged victim's friend took the stand next. The woman told the jury that she lived about three blocks from the victim, who called her the night of the attack.
"She was hysterical she cried a lot all she kept saying was she needed help," the friend said.
During their phone conversation, the alleged victim kept saying that she needed help and didn't know what to do, the friend said. As a result, the friend went to the alleged victim's house.
"She was crying and shaking in the car port in a chair," the friend said.
The friend told the jurors the alleged victim told her that Pounds pushed her into the laundry room and forced her to have sex with him.
"She couldn't stand, and she couldn't walk. She shook the entire time," the friend said.Eugenia Whitenburg, a SANE nurse examiner, testified that the alleged victim's SANE exam took a little more than an hour.
"She had red areas on her wrist, bruising on her hands a bruise on her back, neck and stomach," Whitenburg said.
Whitenburg said she didn't notice any trauma on the woman's genital area but added there can be sexual assault without trauma.
Later Tuesday, Pounds took the stand in his own defense. He told the jurors that the alleged victim's testimony that he sexually assaulted her on Sept. 2, 2012 was false.
Pounds told the jury that he and the alleged victim had consensual sex on the abovementioned date. He testified that he knew her before she stopped to help him and that they lived in the same neighborhood and had many of the same friends.
Pounds took the stand and said the allegations were false.
During his testimony, Pounds said he was stalled at a red light and she offered to help him get his car to the side of the road before she offered to take him home.
"We talked all the way there," Pounds said. "We pulled up to my driveway, and I got out of the car and in the house, and ten minutes later, she honked her horn. I went back outside, and we exchanged phone numbers."
Pounds said later that night, a little girl can to his house and said, "My mama wants to talk to Alan."
The victim was walking up the driveway, and the little girl got back into the car, Pounds said. The defendant said the alleged victim initiated sexual contact with him that day before she went back to the car and left with her kids.
"It was more along the lines of a booty call," Pounds said.
Testifying about what happened on September 2, 2012, Pounds said he didn't force the alleged victim into the laundry room. He added they walked side by side.
"At that point she was wearing shorts and a shirt, and she pulled her shorts down, and I pulled mine down," Pounds said.
Pounds told the jury the victim never said no, and when they were done, he hugged her and told her he'd see her tomorrow.