HUDSON — The Stockport man accused of rape told his side of the story Thursday in Columbia County Court, repeatedly claiming the sex was consensual.
Jeffrey Barmen, 44, is accused of forcing a woman he knows to have sexual intercourse in March in the town of Kinderhook. He pleaded not guilty to first-degree rape, a class B felony, March 20 at his arraignment after his indictment by a Columbia County grand jury.
Barmen testified for about an hour Thursday afternoon. He repeatedly denied the rape occurred, insisting the sex was consensual.
“He [Barmen] denies the allegations,” defense attorney Anthony Pastel said outside the courtroom. “His testimony consisted of the truth and was emotional and should vindicate him.”
The alleged victim did not tell Barmen “no” or to stop, he said.
Many details of Barmen’s testimony could not be reported because it would identify the alleged victim. The Register-Star does not identify victims of sexual assault.
Before Thursday’s testimony, the prosecution and defense disagreed about admitting several emails between Barmen and his accuser into evidence. One of the emails was believed to have been sent about the time the alleged rape occurred in March 2017.
The prosecution did not have a chance to review the emails until Thursday, Assistant District Attorney Ryan Carty told the court outside the presence of the jury. The emails were discovered sometime late Wednesday, Pastel said.
“The people have relied on the fact that this email was not found or located until 5 p.m. last night, and before 7:15 a.m. this morning,” Carty said.
The emails, Pastel argued, show the accuser’s state of mind. The prosecution has argued the woman feared the defendant, Pastel said, adding the emails could refute that.
But Carty said the accuser did not have a chance to be questioned about the emails, the emails were hearsay and he had a “good-faith basis” that the messages were not authentic.
The judge ruled the emails were not relevant to the case at hand and would not be heard or viewed by the jury.
The defense called several witnesses, including his neighbors and family members, to testify Thursday about Barmen’s character.
“He is not a violent person,” said Elaine Mausceri, of Brunswick, a family friend who has known Barmen since he was born. “I would not be sitting here today if there was any doubt in my mind.”
Mausceri saw Barmen once each year for the past three years at family gatherings, including barbecues, she said. She was not present Feb. 28, March 1 or March 2, 2017, when the alleged acts between Barmen and the alleged victim took place.
The trial is expected to resume 9 a.m. Friday. The prosecution called one witness to the stand Wednesday — the woman Barmen is accused of assaulting. The trial began Monday with jury screening.
To reach reporter Amanda Purcell, call 518-828-1616 ext. 2500, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or tweet to @amandajpurcell.