In considering Medearis' challenge to his aggravated sexual abuse in Indian Country convictions, we recite the facts in the light most favorable to the government, as it prevailed on these counts below. United States v.
Reyes, F. Shortly thereafter, Medearis moved with Whiting to her mother's residence in Florida. In the next three plus years, the couple had a tumultuous relationship, separating on several occasions, with the final break occurring on January 3, In the days that followed, Medearis stopped by a few times to see her, but Whiting did not leave to go anywhere with Medearis.
On Friday, January 11,Medearis and Whiting agreed to see each other about p. For some reason not entirely clear from the record, Medearis and Whiting did not meet, and Whiting's efforts to find Medearis that evening were unsuccessful. The following day, at around or p. The two talked briefly, but an argument quickly ensued. The argument apparently ended when the two agreed to meet that night at a mutual friend's house at about or p. Medearis never appeared at the mutual friend's house, so Whiting went to the apartment of her cousin, Fred Whiting, where she had earlier planned to spend the night, arriving there at or a.
At or a.
Because Medearis and Fred Whiting had altercations, Whiting went outside to talk to Medearis. As Whiting approached the driver's side door, Medearis asked her to get inside so they could talk. Because Medearis had been drinking, as evinced by his slurred speech and red eyes, Whiting refused and headed back to Fred Whiting's apartment.
In response, Medearis got out of the car and ran up behind Whiting, swinging, like he was going to hit her. At that time, Whiting saw a hickey on Medearis' neck. When Whiting asked Medearis if he would let her go into Fred Whiting's apartment to get her coat and shoes, Medearis allowed her to do so.
After Whiting entered the apartment, Medearis returned to his car. Because Whiting wanted to get Medearis to leave without getting Fred Whiting or anyone else involved, Whiting went outside to talk to Medearis. Whiting approached the driver's side of the car to talk.
The talking turned to arguing, and when it began to snow and drizzle, Whiting entered the car through the passenger side, keeping the door open a crack.
Medearis denied he had a hickey and Whiting, at this point, told Medearis that she did not want to argue when he had been drinking and suggested that they talk another time. In response, Medearis asked Whiting to continue the conversation, but instructed her to get out of the car.
When Whiting tried to get out of the car, Medearis grabbed her by the back of her hair and yanked her back into the car. Whiting started to scream for Fred Whiting. Whiting then bit Medearis on the thumb, which allowed her to lunge for the door again.
However, Medearis sped away, which prevented Whiting from leaving the car. As the two talked, a truck went by, turned around, and slowly approached Medearis' car.
Medearis jumped out of the car to speak to the truck driver, who apparently was known to Medearis. Medearis returned to the car and told Whiting to take the car.
Medearis then got out of the car. As Whiting walked behind the car, Medearis backed the car up. When Whiting tried to get up, Medearis grabbed her by her jacket, lifted her off the ground, and told her to get in the car, pushing her back across the highway. Whiting pleaded with Medearis to take her back to her van, which was located at Fred Whiting's apartment.
Medearis angrily accused Whiting of being with other men and demanded to know who they were. As Whiting pleaded for him not to do that, Medearis reached over and threw her seat back. Medearis then started to drive toward his mother's house. On the way, Whiting indicated that she did not want to go there because her kids were there.
Nevertheless, Medearis continued toward his mother's house, stopping the car near the driveway to the house.
At that point, Medearis threatened Whiting that he would run her over if she got out of the car. Medearis then stopped the car and told Whiting he was going to rape her.
Thereafter, he starting driving the car again, telling Whiting at this time to remove her pants. Medearis stopped the car on a trail, just off of Wood Road. Medearis then started to pull Whiting's pants down.
He locked all of the car doors, crawled over to the passenger seat, unfastened his own pants, and got behind Whiting. Medearis performed oral sex on Whiting, while she tried to push him away. Once there, Cheryl Medearis' boyfriend took Whiting to her aunt's house. Zijad Sabovic Dr. Sabovic at a. During his examination, Dr. Sabovic observed that Whiting had fresh bruises on both of her knees, on her left elbow, and on her left shoulder.
In addition to observing redness on Whiting's left thigh, Dr. Sabovic also observed an excoriation of the vaginal vault. At trial, Dr. Sabovic opined that Whiting's injuries were consistent with forced sexual intercourse.
At the hospital, a rape kit was administered, which included both an oral and vaginal swab of Whiting. Medearis was found to be the source of the DNA discovered on the vaginal swab.
Moreover, as part of the preparation of the rape kit, Whiting was asked to remove her clothing while standing on a white piece of paper so that Dr. Sabovic could collect her clothing, including her panties, and any foreign material dislodged from her clothing during this process. After Whiting removed her clothing, Dr.
Sabovic recovered gravel and sand, which he opined came from either Whiting's panties, her other clothing, or her feet.
Pursuant to a stipulation between the parties, Medearis acknowledged that he was an Indian person and, as a result, Counts Two, Four, and Six were dismissed. Following a bond hearing, Medearis was released on certain conditions, including that he submit to and pass urine analyses and that he attend all hearings related to this matter.
After failing two urine tests and failing to attend a hearing, Medearis fled, but later surrendered on his own volition in Augustafter several months on the run. At trial, Whiting testified to the events described above. Her credibility was painstakingly and exhaustively attacked by Medearis' counsel on cross-examination.
Counsel for Medearis was able to demonstrate that Whiting gave inconsistent statements over time. Counsel was also able to establish that Whiting generally feared losing Medearis and he was able to explore any ill motives Whiting may have had concerning her desire to seek revenge against Medearis for his having relations with other women. For his part, Medearis testified that, after he arrived at Fred Whiting's apartment, Whiting willingly got into his car. Medearis testified that they drove for a while and then stopped just off of Wood Road.
According to Medearis, after consensual sex, Whiting noticed a hickey on his neck that Siers had given him.
He then drove to his mother's house. Before she got out of the car, Whiting broke the zipper on her coat, trying to zip the zipper. She then got up and walked toward Cheryl Medearis' house. At that point, Medearis decided to leave.
He was later interviewed by Grace Her Many Horses. In his closing argument, the Assistant United States Attorney AUSA argued that the evidence supported guilty verdicts, based primarily on Whiting's testimony, as supported by the government's other witnesses mainly Dr. Sabovicand the physical evidence. In his closing argument to the jury, counsel for Medearis explained to the jury that this case involved false accusations fueled by either jealousy, anger, or revenge. In making this argument, he continuously attacked Whiting's credibility as a witness.
For example, Whiting testified on direct examination that, at one point when Medearis' car was parked on Hidden Timber Road, Medearis got out and punched the passenger window.