The teens recorded the entire incident on a tape, which
prosecutors believe is the piece of evidence that will convince the
jury to find the defendants guilty. Defense attorneys have argued
that the sexual acts were consensual.
Orange County Superior Court Judge Francisco Briseno ruled before
the jury trial that the tape bearing graphic sexual content must be
shown only to jurors and not to the public.
On Tuesday, three large television screens were turned away from
the gallery so that only the jury, attorneys, court staff members,
the judge and the three defendants could see it. The sound from the
tape, however, was heard by all.
What the public and members of the media heard was loud rap music
in the background. The songs were clearly about sex. The tape started
off with the girl giggling and laughing with the defendants. Less
than a minute later she is heard asking: "You want to take off my
clothes, huh Greg?"
Shortly after that, only the defendants' voices were heard. There
was no sound from the girl. The defendants laughed and talked about
enjoying their sexual experience with the girl. Prosecutors said the
teens assaulted the unconscious girl with a Snapple bottle, a juice
can, a lighted cigarette and a pool cue.
Most jurors who watched the tape showed little reaction. One juror
turned her head away for a moment. Another juror shook his head after
he finished watching the tape. The three defendants, dressed in
short-sleeved shirts, ties and dark pants, looked down for the most
part and seemed to be writing notes as the tape was being played.
The tape was, and continues to be, a controversial element of the
trial. Defense attorneys contend that the tape is "incomplete," that
it has been edited by police and that several minutes of important
footage is missing. Pretrial motions asking that the tape not be
admitted into evidence were denied.
On Tuesday, once again, defense attorneys cross-questioned
witnesses for the prosecution in an attempt to prove that the tape is
Prosecutors brought in Ryan Weedall, Lindsay Picou and Kevin