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McAllister takes the stand in sex crimes trial - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

McAllister takes the stand in sex crimes trial

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ST. ALBANS, Vt. -

The sex crimes case against a former Vermont lawmaker has gone to the jury. Seven men and five women will now consider Norm McAllister's fate and they got more information than they expected after a surprise twist in the courtroom.

Friday, former state senator Norm McAllister's defense team called a surprise witness: the defendant himself. McAllister swore his accuser started their sexual relationship when he was overcome by grief following the recent death of his wife.

"My family was there, they were great, my friends were there off and on, they were great, but you need to be able to put your arms around someone and have them there differently than just friends," McAllister said.

In a taped conversation between McAllister and his accuser, he acknowledged she may have felt forced into sex. He says there's a simple explanation.

"We had a mutual agreement that if one of us wanted it, the other would try to accommodate," McAllister said.

The defense played the tape, pausing point-by-point to allow McAllister to explain away seemingly incriminating admissions.

He denied prostituting his former tenant and farmhand but only explained this clip by saying they discussed it.

Tape clip: "Using your p***y for something other than producing babies seemed like a viable option."

The prosecution didn't buy any of the explanations McAllister did give.

"English is your first language, right?" Franklin County Deputy State's Attorney John Lavoie asked.

Many of McAllister's innocent explanations created new contradictions with the tape and earlier testimony. Throughout the recording, McAllister says he doesn't understand or is confused, but that's not the case when the accuser suggests she ignored requests to stop and said she felt pain.

John Lavoie: On this tape, you don't deny that, right?

Norm McAllister: Yes.

Now that the case is in the jury's hands, the judge and lawyers dismissed an alternate to the jury-- that's basically person number 13. As he was leaving the courthouse, our Kyle Midura asked him how he would have decided this if he were still on the jury. He didn't want to share that information, so we still don't have any inkling how the jurors may be considering this case. They will deliberate it and they are expected to return a verdict one way or the other Friday night.

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