(12:40 PM) Testimony In 2018 Rape Case Resumes In County Court

Dennis L. Park pictured Wednesday in Chautauqua County Court. Testimony resumed in front of Judge David Foley. P-J photo by Jordan W. Patterson

MAYVILLE — The ongoing trial of a Conewango man accused of sexual assault in 2018 continued today.

The woman alleging that Dennis L. Park, 34, forced her into a Jamestown laundromat bathroom and raped her remained on the stand in the second day of trial.

The woman — who is not being identified because she is the victim of an assault — testified Tuesday that she was washing clothes and blankets July 17, 2018, in the laundromat when she went to a bathroom located inside. When she attempted to exit, she said she was “rushed” by Park, who she said put a knife to her side and forced her back into the bathroom.

She said Park forced her to perform oral sex on him. Afterward, the woman called police.

Park is facing charges of first-degree rape and two counts of first-degree criminal sex act for the July 17 assault, as well as a rape that reportedly took place a week earlier, on July 11, 2018

The jury was released for lunch with the woman still on the stand during cross examination by Chautauqua County Public Defender Ned Barone, who is representing Park.

Michael Flaherty of the District Attorney’s Office continued his line of questioning this morning and will have an opportunity to reexamine the woman after Barone’s cross examination.

The woman is expected to return the stand when court resumes.

During the morning session, Barone questioned the woman about her previous criminal record and about the July 17 incident.

Before being released for recess, the woman became upset when discussing the alleged rape.

Prior to court resuming at 9 a.m., Barone made a motion for a mistrial after Flaherty had sought to include a knife reportedly involved in the assaults in court. The officer who collected the knife is currently out of state.

Barone believed the discussion, which he objected to Tuesday, created a prejudice from the jury on Park.

County Court Judge David Foley denied the motion, but did remove the paper bag containing the knife from the court room until the prosecution attempts to enter the object into evidence.

See Thursday’s edition of The Post-Journal for more coverage.