Rape Victim Takes the Stand, Recalls Attack

DNA frees two men charged with crime, implicates another

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Two men spent decades in prison for the attempted murder, but were exonerated earlier this year. Evidence that cleared their names, landed another suspect in the hot seat. (Published Wednesday, Dec 5, 2012)

    A woman who was raped, shot and left to die took the stand on Wednesday, 30 years after the crime.

    Two men, James Curtis Williams and Raymond Jackson, spent 28 years in prison for the woman's attempted murder, but were exonerated in April.  Evidence that cleared their names and landed another suspect in the hot seat.  DNA found on the victim's clothes now connects defendant Marion Sayles to the rape and shooting.

    Sayles' trial started Wednesday morning.  The rape victim took the stand right away to face her accused attacker and relive the torture she endured three decades ago. 

    The victim is being called "Mary Smith" to protect her identity,

    Smith remembers Nov. 18, 1983, like it was yesterday.  She was 26-years-old at the time and had been going to meet some friends for dinner off McKinney Avenue in Dallas when she was attacked.

    "Two men came running towards me with a gun," said the woman. "I screamed very loud.  One man hit me over the head with a gun, pulled me up by the hair and told me to unlock the car."

    Smith said the two men forced her into her own station wagon, yelling at her for money.  Then, the men drove her to a remote field and raped her. 

    "He put a gun to my neck and asked me if I enjoyed myself," Smith said.

    Smith found a chance to escape when the men stopped in Oak Cliff.  As she ran, her attackers shot her.

    The woman didn't give up and crawled to a road where she tried to flag down passing cars. 

    A good Samaritan, Larry Barlow, stopped to help.  Doctors say Barlow's decision to help a bleeding and desperate woman saved her life. 

    Barlow is also expected to testify in Sayles' attempted murder trial.

    NBC5 is in the courtroom and will continue to follow Sayles' trial.