Judge Daniel Forgey’s courtroom was packed Tuesday morning as the opening statements.
Blonigen set the scene from the prosecution’s point of view. He asked jurors how they would feel and what they would do if they were 20 years old, waking up on the couch in the home of man you’ve known since you were in junior high school.
And, Blonigen told them, you wake up in the early morning hours of June 25th, to find him between your legs and your dress has been removed, and he said he has been trying to have sex with you for a long time.
He then recounted the number of people she contacted after waking up, by text and by phone.
Cercy took her to another friend’s house and according to the alleged victim, threatened to kill her and himself if she told anyone. The alleged victim says she had bruising on her legs that wasn’t there the day before, and Blonigen showed photos of that.
She told several friends, but not her parents at first, he said.
But by June 28th, her father had been hearing stories about an alleged assault. He went to her place of employment where she tearfully admitted what happened and from there reported the incident.
Defense attorney Pamela Mackey summed her argument very simply in her opening remarks: “Mere words are not enough, and that is all the prosecution will give you.”
She said the accusations come solely from the alleged victim. There is no DNA evidence, no physical evidence and no other witnesses.
Detailed the movements of the Cercys on that day, starting with opening their residence for the summer. Cercy's wife, Caryl, invited a young woman to be with them because of her house- and dog-sitting while the Cercy family traveled.
After dinner at the boat club, they invited the son of a close friend over for the evening.
The young man brought about 10 people with him including the alleged victim. Mackey said the alleged victim soon passed out on the couch. She remained there, and a group of several older couples arrived about 11:30. They were concerned for the young woman, but they believed she was okay after one of Cercy's dogs licked her face and she moved her head.
The group of young people left, soon followed by the older couples, Mackey said.
By 11 p.m., Caryl Cercy was tired and she, the young woman and the four dogs retired to one bedroom. Tony, who was nodding off while eating ice cream, went to bed in the guest room.
If the alleged assault happened, the dogs would have barked, Mackey said. The defense team conducted a test in the residence with the dogs. The dogs would have barked louder than a smoke alarm if they so much as heard the alleged victim slap Cercy.
They woke up at 6 a.m., the alleged victim was gone, and the Cercy's and the young woman went about their day, including going to a friends house. There, the alleged victim walked by, waved at the Cercys and said hello, Mackey said.
Mackey said the alleged victim’s story has changed several times.
Crime lab tests of her clothing, which the young woman says she put on hastily that morning, showed no signs of DNA.
Mackey closed her opening statement by saying, "It will not be proven because it cannot be proven because it did not happen."