2008 rape case goes to court

Published 9:44 pm Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A jury trial in the Oct. 10, 2008 abduction, rape and stabbing of a Suffolk woman began Wednesday.

Christopher Rashard Taylor, 31, is accused of abducting the then-21-year-old victim from her Forest Oak Lane apartment at gunpoint about 2 a.m. that day. He then allegedly took her car, drove her into nearby woods and sexually assaulted her. Taylor then allegedly tied the woman to a tree and stabbed her several times before fleeing in her car.

The woman was able to escape her bindings and make it to the street, where she flagged down a passerby in the 800 block of Old Dill Road for help about 16 hours after she was reportedly abducted.

Taylor is charged with three counts of rape, one count of abduction, one count of robbery, one count of malicious wounding, one count of use or display of a firearm in commission of a felony, one count of stabbing, and one count of carjacking.

Jury selection took up the first half of Wednesday. From a pool of about 50 potential jurors, prosecutors and the defense attorney selected 14 — 12 jurors and two alternates.

Of the 14, three are black and 11 are white. There are six men and eight women.

Several potential jurors were struck because they were dishonest about prior criminal records when initially asked by the prosecutors. Two were struck because they had relatives who had been the victims of violent crimes. Another was struck because she said she had religious beliefs that would prevent her from passing judgment on another. One was struck because her brother is a police officer, and she admitted that would make her more prejudiced for law enforcement officers.

After the jury was selected, the Commonwealth’s Attorneys began presenting their evidence. For an update on the trial, read Friday’s edition of the Suffolk News-Herald or check www.suffolknewsherald.com.