Kingston - The graphic and excruciating details of the sexual encounter between a student and former SUNY New Paltz professor Wade Thompson, 82, poured out in court yesterday.
But defense lawyers attacked the woman's credibility. Ben Ostrer of Chester pointed out that the woman had hired a lawyer to file a civil suit against the college and Thompson even before speaking to police. She never told the district attorney about the lawsuit, Ostrer said.
Dressed in a prim blue dress, the 42-year-old student was the first witness called by Assistant District Attorney Julian Schreibman.
Thompson faces felony charges of sexual abuse and assault and a misdemeanor charge of forcible touching.
Thompson took the woman to his New Paltz house on April 19.
"He said 'If you're a good little girl, you're going to lift up your dress and come over my lap and let me spank you.' He mentioned my grades. ... All I could think of is what am I going to do now? ... He has been there the longest time ... and nobody is going to believe me, and I did it."
Between tears, she testified that Thompson made her remove her clothing and lay down on the floor. Then he started beating her on the buttocks with a belt, first with the strap and then with the buckle. She said he made her count out loud and if she missed a count, that he started over from the beginning. She was crying and asking him to stop. He hit her 64 times, she said.
She asked why he was doing it. His reply was" "It's like putting salt and pepper on food. It enhances the pleasure for me," she said.
The garish red and black bruises on the student's bare buttocks splashed across a large projection screen at one point. The prosecution also played a dramatic recording of the student's April 22 call to Thompson. She pressed him about why he had struck her.
"I thought that was what you wanted, that it excited you," Thompson said in the recording. "I thought that was what you liked. ... I didn't hear you tell me to stop. ... I am very sorry I misunderstood."
And he promised her he would not talk to anyone about the incident. "This is our little secret," he said. "Nobody is going to ask me anything."
The defense chipped away at discrepancies in the student's various statements to police compared with the details from her private lawsuit. "There are big pieces missing out of this puzzle. ... This was a consensual encounter," Ostrer said in his opening statement.
The trial before Judge Frank LaBuda resumes at 9 a.m. today.
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