Expert witnesses testify in ex-police officer rape trial
A forensic examiner with the FBI on Wednesday testified that a condom found at the Ypao Hotel had former Guam police officer Paul John Santos’ DNA on the inside, and the DNA of his alleged rape victim on the outside.
Santos, 49, was indicted in 2014, after a woman told the FBI that a Guam Police Department officer, in uniform, forced her to perform sexual acts after knocking on her Tamuning hotel room door and threatening to arrest her for prostitution. Santos’ rape trial started last week in the Superior Court of Guam. [restrict]
Biologist and forensic examiner Jeremy Fletcher, from the FBI laboratory in Quantico, said he tested a used condom for DNA, which he received as evidence in Santos’ case, along with about 20 other items. Fletcher said he compared DNA samples on the condom to cheek swabs from Santos and the woman.
Amparo Rios, a sexual assault nurse examiner at the Guam Behavioral Health and Wellness Center rape crisis center, also testified, saying she examined the woman within 72 hours of the alleged assault. Rios said the woman was a bit anxious and guarded, and had been referred to Healing Hearts by the FBI after her sexual assault had been reported.
An exam revealed three cuts, which indicated trauma during sexual intercourse, she testified.
Officer Sam Bersamin, from the Dededo Precinct, who was Santos’ shift supervisor on the night of the incident, also testified Wednesday.
Bersamin said Santos’ assigned area that day was in Dededo, and said Santos would have needed to ask him to go beyond this boundary.
Bersamin said Santos did not tell him he went into the Tamuning jurisdiction, although Santos allegedly told authorities he was working on a case when he visited the Ypao Hotel.
Police officers should not conduct any personal or non-work related business while on patrol, Bersamin said. Bersamin said he was not aware or informed of any sting operation by Santos on the night of the incident, and usually such operations are not conducted by a lone officer.
Prosecution also brought in hotel employees Beggi Tosiuo and Michelle Tamashiro as witnesses.
Tosiuo, who was the front desk clerk, said Santos came to the hotel gate at 2 a.m. Sept. 1, 2014, asking to see the customer in room 207, which was the victim’s room.
Tosiuo said Santos told her he wanted to check on the woman as part of a case he was working on. Video surveillance footage shows Santos at the hotel, in his police vehicle, and dressed in his GPD uniform.
Tosiuo said she told Santos hotel policy dictates they can’t let visitors in after midnight, but said she told him he could enter for 5 minutes, only because he was a police officer working on a case.
Video footage showed Santos had not left the room in about 50 minutes, so Tosiuo and housekeeper Tamashiro knocked on the woman’s door to check on her, they testified. They both said they only heard sounds of the television in the room. [/restrict]