At first, a Holtsville woman was perplexed over why a young man dressed all in black was coming into her garage as she was going out to her car to go to work, she testified yesterday.
She was trying to figure out who he might be, she said. Then he punched her so hard on the side of her head that she saw stars. And then he raped her.
The 35-year-old teacher testified on the second anniversary of the attack at the trial of the man charged with raping her, John Kluge, 25, of Holbrook. Suffolk prosecutors have described him as a "sexual predator" who may be responsible for other sex crimes in the area. But he is on trial before Suffolk County Court Judge Barbara Kahn for this attack only.
"I remember screaming, screaming, and him telling me to stop screaming and he wouldn't hurt me," she said during questioning by Assistant District Attorney Carl Borelli. "I tried to fake an asthma attack. I told him I needed my inhaler. He didn't care."
She testified in a soft voice, often looking down, as if in a daze but remaining composed. She looked at Kluge only once, when Borelli asked her if the man who attacked her was in the courtroom.
She described the attack in detail, noting that she had a good look at his face during the attack and even noted that he smelled strongly of cigarette smoke.
"How long did the attack last?" Borelli asked her.
"It seemed like forever," she replied. "But five minutes, maybe."
The woman, whom Newsday is not naming because she is a sex crime victim, also testified about a grueling exam at Stony Brook University Hospital for evidence of her sexual assault. Prosecutors have said that exam produced DNA linking Kluge to her. Some of that DNA came from when her attacker kissed her on her cheek while raping her, prosecutors said.
The woman also said she picked Kluge twice out of a police lineup.
During questioning by defense attorney Gregory Grizopolous of Westbury, who has said the rapist was not Kluge, the woman said she and other female teachers at her school had gotten Facebook friend requests from an unknown person. She also said that just before the rape, her then-husband, also a teacher, had told others at his school that he would be visiting family in Florida.