Elderly victim faces alleged attacker in court again

Posted at 9:11 PM, Feb 17, 2015
and last updated 2015-02-17 21:16:21-05

KENT COUNTY, Mich. -- Opening statements took place and several witnesses testified on the first day of Shawn Jarrett's rape trial.

Jarrett is a convicted killer who is now accused of raping an 85-year-old Grandville woman. During opening statements, the prosecutor said DNA doesn't lie.

"This is the man that was in her house. This is the man that was there. She identifies him. She says he's the one that was there," Chris Becker, the Kent County assistant prosecutor told the jury.

The assault happened last June. The victim faced her alleged attacker for the second time in the court of law. The first time was at a preliminary hearing in July.

She testified and pointed out Jarrett as her attacker once again.

The 85-year-old woman said Jarrett came to her back door, asked her about the area, and asked to use her phone.
Once he gave it back to her, she said he forced his way in, knocked her to the floor, robbed, beat and raped her.

The victim recalled, "I was in such pain, and I was screaming and yelling, but I don't. All I really is it hurt really bad."

The prosecutor also showed pictures of her bruised body as she lay in the hospital. Evidence also included pictures of the clothing Jarrett allegedly wore that day, a bike spotted outside the home the day of the attack, along with several pictures in and outside of her home.

Becker said semen left on the bedding and from the victim's body matches Jarrett's DNA.
He said the science, circumstantial evidence, and the victim looking at a suspect lineup all point to then 50-year-old Jarrett.

But the defense told the 14 men and women jury the burden of proof is on the prosecutor.

Jarrett's defense attorney told the jurors, "And at the end of this trial, I will be asking you for a verdict of not guilty."

During cross-examination, the defense questioned the victim's recollection regarding the
color of her attacker's shoes, whether he had facial hair, his picture in a line up and his approximate age.

Defense: I believe that you indicated at the time of earlier testimony that you thought this individual was between 20 and 30 years old. Do you remember saying that to the first police officer?
Victim: I said it to the very first man (officer) that came in.

Victim: Everybody looks young nowadays.
Defense: Fair enough ma'am.

Her 911 call was also played in court. The victim was in obvious pain. The first officer to arrive at her home took the stand, and a neighbor who recalled seeing a man in the victim's driveway and seeing a bike. The neighbor remembers looking over there several times because he said "something didn't seem right."

One of the victim's fellow church members said she happened to be in the area shortly after the attack and recalled seeing a man riding away from the victim's driveway on a bike.

Jarrett is also the prime suspect in the Yolanda Reyes murder. The mother of four went missing back in April after being dropped off at work in Walker. Jarrett and Reyes were co-workers. No has been charged her death yet.