|Wednesday, January 31|
| WAUKESHA, Wis. -- Injuries found on a teenager who accuses
former Green Bay Packers tight end Mark Chmura of sexually
assaulting her do not necessarily mean she was assaulted, two
defense witnesses testified Wednesday.
Chmura's attorney, Gerald Boyle, asked Dr. Joseph Zeccardi if he
thought a sexual assault occurred, based on police records and a
report from a nurse who examined Chmura's accuser.
"I'm not sure I can give you a medically certain conclusion,"
The teen, a former baby sitter for Chmura's two sons, says
Chmura pulled her into a bathroom, pulled down her pants and had
sex with her without her consent during a post-prom party at his
friend Robert Gessert's Hartland, Wis., home April 9.
Chmura, 31, has pleaded innocent to third-degree sexual assault
and child enticement charges, both felonies. He could face up to 40
years in prison and $20,000 in fines.
Zeccardi said Wednesday wet clothing or an ill-fitting swim suit
also could have caused the redness and abrasion attributed to the
alleged sexual assault.
Zeccardi is a New Jersey pediatric emergency physician who has
worked with the FBI to develop procedures for sexual assault
He testified he would expect to find a similar abrasion on
Chmura, but an examination immediately after Chmura's arrest April
10 found none.
Debra Donovan, the nurse who examined the teen hours after the
party, has testified she found the teen's hymen was still intact.
Zeccardi said he would expect the hymen to tear during a short
and sudden assault such as Chmura's accuser has described.
Page Verlander, a supervisor of sexual assault nurse examiners
at a Virginia hospital, also testified she couldn't be sure whether
a sexual assault occurred.
Verlander said she would have expected Chmura's accuser to have
Verlander also said she would have done a more thorough exam of
the teen, searching for saliva containing DNA and also applying dye
to the injuries that would have highlighted tears or cuts.
Both Verlander and Zeccardi also testified that Donovan should
not have written in her report that Chmura's accuser's injuries
were consistent with sexual assault.
"I would counsel that individual that I didn't feel we should
be drawing conclusions," Zeccardi said.
During cross-examination, Waukesha County District Attorney Paul
Bucher asked Zeccardi if he was aware many nurses make judgments
because they are obligated to tell police if they think an assault
Zeccardi said he didn't believe that.
Chmura, a three-time Pro Bowl selection, joined the Packers in
1992 out of Boston College. He appeared in two Super Bowls with
Green Bay, but missed most of the 1999 season with a neck injury.
The team cut him in June after he was charged.
An 18-year-old woman has accused Gessert of fondling her in a
hot tub at the party.
Gessert has pleaded innocent to second-degree sexual assault and
fourth-degree sexual assault. His trial is scheduled for March. If
convicted he faces up to 30 years and nine months in prison and up
to $20,000 in fines.|
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