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Former public safety stalwart stands trial for rape

By KTVA Alaska 7:08 PM February 6, 2014

"Pubilc safety stalwart" faces three rape charges in court.

Editor’s note: The content of this story may not be suitable for children.

ANCHORAGE - Dwight O’Connor sat expressionless in an Anchorage courtroom Thursday morning while a recording of the 911 call that led to three rape charges against him played for a jury.

“He wouldn’t let me out and he raped me and he said he would put it in my [expletive] and stuff. He wouldn’t let me out I didn’t know what to do,” the alleged victim’s 911 call played through the courtroom speakers.

That was a call made on July 21, 2011 by a mother of three who was at the time a homeless hitchhiker. She had told police that O’Connor had raped her.

Two years later, the victim took the stand following opening statements to share her account of what happened between her and O’Connor.

“I remember just like it was yesterday even though I almost blacked out I thought ‘God, don’t let me die, help me get out of here I can’t take it,’” she said.

O’Connor’s attorney Brendan Kelley rebutted the witness’ testimony.

“Dwight O’Connor might be a lot of things here —  stupid, unfaithful, stubborn, prideful. But there’s one thing this evidence is going to tell you that he’s not — it’s that he’s’ not a rapist,” Kelley argued.

O’Connor is a former head of the Westside Community Patrol and had spent nearly a decade on the Anchorage Public Safety Advisory Commission — appointed by the mayor himself.

Records show O’Connor lied to police several times before admitting to picking up the hitchhiker up near the Northway Mall after an evening spent drinking with his wife.

O’Connor also admitted to trying to have sex with the hitchhiker at his workplace, Golden Nugget RV Park, but said his inability to maintain an erection ended the encounter before it began.

“This was not Mr. O’Connor’s best night ever sexually,” Kelley said.  ”Things were not working not for lack of trying, but it just wasn’t happening that night.”

Yet, evidence shows the DNA found inside of the alleged victim matched DNA found on O’Connor’s genitals.

That DNA, however, didn’t belong to the hitchhiker or to O’Connor.

A cliffhanger in a case that demonstrates the danger of casting caution aside and climbing into cars with strangers.

The prosectution questioned the alleged victim on Thursday. The defense will cross-examine her on Monday.

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