DOVER — The jury trial for a Rochester man accused of sexually assaulting a 62-year-old woman and kicking two police officers started on Thursday.
John Stonis, 39, is facing 18 charges related to an incident police say happened at a residence on Gina Drive in East Rochester on Sept. 30, 2017.
Assistant County Attorney Kayla Turner told jurors that Stonis was drinking whiskey before he pinned the woman down on a living room carpet and began choking her.
“She thought she was going to die as John Stonis, the defendant, strangled her until she passed out,” Turner said in Strafford County Superior Court.
Turner said as Stonis choked the woman, he said, “Sleep. Sleep.”
Turner said the woman remembers Stonis sexually assaulting her. When she had the opportunity to escape the residence, she ran outside naked and called 911.
The woman was taken to Frisbie Memorial Hospital where Turner said medical professionals noticed bruising on 23 parts of her body.
Officer Aaron Garneau and Sgt. Marc Cilley arrested Stonis, whom police described as combative when they arrived. During the arrest, Stonis allegedly kicked Garneau in the leg twice and Cilley “squarely in the chest.”
Garneau and Cilley both took the witness stand on Thursday afternoon, testifying that Stonis was making rude comments and appeared to be intoxicated when they arrived at the scene.
Public defender Carl Swenson is representing Stonis in this case. He is arguing that the sexual encounter was consensual.
Swenson and his team have two interviews with the woman in which she recanted her statements to police during defense investigator interviews.