Torture Suspect's Attorneys Can Access Woman's Notes: Judge

Maxwell faces up to life in prison if convicted

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Attorneys for a North Texas man accused of kidnapping and torturing his former neighbor for 12 days said Thursday they never had a chance to question the woman before the trial and she never gave a written account of the alleged incident.

    As Jeffrey Allan Maxwell's defense attorneys cross-examined the woman, she said no law enforcement agencies ever asked her to provide a written statement after she was rescued last March from Maxwell's home in Corsicana.

    The woman said she jotted down some questions before meeting with prosecutors, mostly about what to expect at the trial but nothing to help refresh her memory. She said she had to write some details about her ordeal on some applications for a crime victims' compensation fund.

    Defense attorney Richard Alley was unaware of those notes until Thursday and complained it was the first time his team was allowed to talk to the woman because authorities were trying to protect her identity and location ahead of trial.

    The judge then granted Alley's request for the woman to turn over her notes and for prosecutors to retrieve the applications, and Alley said he may continue questioning the woman after reviewing them.

    Maxwell, 59, is charged with aggravated kidnapping and aggravated sexual assault, and he faces up to life in prison if convicted. The Associated Press generally does not identify alleged victims of sexual assault.

    The woman said she has talked to a counselor a few times since Maxwell kidnapped her at gunpoint from her rural Parker County home, drove her 100 miles to his house near Corsicana and held her captive. She escaped after authorities arrived to question Maxwell about her disappearance.

    On Wednesday, she told jurors that Maxwell kept her handcuffed, gagged and her legs chained to a bed and that he sexually assaulted her for more than a week before he became ill. Then he began leaving her unrestrained when they were in the same room during the day, she said

    She testified Thursday that she was still afraid when she initially told authorities that Maxwell didn't do anything to her and that he was her friend.

    "I was traumatized and wounded, in a state of shock," she told jurors.

    She said she doesn't believe she could have escaped at any other time -- before Maxwell opened the door when officers arrived to question him -- although she often thought about it.