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Woman avoids making eye contact in court with Jesse Matthew

Posted at 10:11 PM, Jun 04, 2015
and last updated 2015-06-05 06:49:26-04

FAIRFAX, Va. -- Jesse Matthew's attempted capital murder and sexual assault trial will move forward Monday in Fairfax.

SOURCE: Bill Hennessy

SOURCE: Bill Hennessy

Fairfax County Circuit Court Judge David Schell denied a defense motion to continue the June 8 trial.

For the first time in 10 years, the alleged victim in the September 24, 2005 sexual assault, known as "RG," was in the presence of her alleged attacker when she took the stand to testify.

The defense called her in a motion to suppress any court identification of Matthew. Judge Schell denied that motion.

RG was asked several questions by the defense about her conversations with the state over the past 10 years, and most recently after Matthew was arrested and charged with the murder of University of Virginia second year, Hannah Graham.

DNA connects Matthew to the 2005 attack in Fairfax, Hannah Graham's 2014 case, and Virginia Tech student Morgan Harrington when she disappeared in 2009 night from UVa's John Paul Jones Arena and was later found murdered.

RG testified that the state informed her of Matthew's arrest and the media interest in the case, but never showed her pictures of Matthew. RG stated out of her own "curiosity," she searched Matthew's photo online in October. She noted that his hair had changed, but his face was the same.

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RG was not present at the start of Thursday's 3 p.m. hearings. She arrived in Fairfax from India at 1 p.m. with her small children and was sleeping at a hotel when the judge ordered the prosecution to pick her up to testify. The prosecution had to awaken her and transport her to court, despite a request from Fairfax County Commonwealth's Attorney Ray Morrogh to continue the hearing Friday to allow her to rest and take care of her children.

The prosecution argued RG was "very tired."

RG seemed frustrated on the stand asking why she needed to testify today and leave her sleeping children. Judge Schell cited code that a motion to suppress is required to be heard three days prior to trial.

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The defense was not willing to waive the requirement. Judge Schell stated he needed to hear RG's testimony, as he heard the state's before he could make a ruling on whether there was state action. He determined there was not state action which led to his ruling to deny the defense motion to suppress. Judge Schell stated it will be up to a jury to decide whether the identification of the suspect is reliable.

RG was not asked to identify Matthew in court and never made eye contact with Matthew.

The defense argued it needed more time after hearing RG's testimony Thursday, to ensure Matthew is afforded a fair trial or they would have to "scramble" to prepare.

The prosecution argued there was no basis for a continuance and that it had handed over more than 4,000 pages of requested documents to the defense and have not received anything in return.

The Commonwealth said they will be cross-examining defense witnesses "cold" while the defense knows exactly what the state has.

The prosecution made reference to interviews done with some of Matthew's friends that placed him in Fairfax September 24, 2005, the night of the attack. RG was walking home from The Giant grocery store on Germantown Road in Fairfax when prosecutors say Matthew dragged her into a grassy area and assaulted her near her townhouse.

Judge Schell granted a defense motion that will prevent the Commonwealth from introducing Matthew's criminal history at trial and denied a defense motion prohibiting the media from attending Thursday's motion to suppress hearing.

Matthew's trial begins Monday June 8 with jury selection. A hundred potential jurors will be brought in on Monday and another 50 on Tuesday. The trial is scheduled to last two weeks.