Victim recounts 2005 rape incident

Mon, 03/23/2009 - 6:11pm
By: The Citizen

A 19-year-old Tyrone woman testified today that a co-worker and fellow student at Sandy Creek High School raped her in her home in September 2005.

The victim, whose name is being withheld by The Citizen, testified that she never gave Zachary Hume Higgins permission to have sex with her.

Higgins, 21, of Sharpsburg, is charged with one count of rape and one count of aggravated sodomy.

The victim testified that Higgins removed her shirt and her pants over her objections. At one point, she said she stopped objecting because “I figured he wasn’t going to go away unless I did what he asked.”

The jury is expected to begin deliberations tomorrow morning.

As for why she waited so long to report the rape, the victim testified that she “was ashamed” and she couldn’t believe it had happened.

“I didn’t want anybody to know,” the victim said. “Because I felt like I let something happen to me or I’d done something to deserve that happening to me,” she said.

The victim testified that Higgins forced her to have oral sex against her will.

After the incident was over, the victim said she returned from vomiting in the bathroom to find Higgins “dressing as fast as he could” to leave the home.

In his opening statement, defense attorney Steve Harris said several students who knew the victim would testify that she bragged about having sex with Higgins and never told them it wasn’t consensual.

The victim said she finally told her parents about the incident in 2008 when they confronted her about her then-boyfriend, whom they didn’t approve of.

Her parents then Immediately took her to the Tyrone Police Department to report the incident, she said.

The victim testified that right after the incident she felt “sick, disgusted and ashamed.” She admitted to letting Higgins into her home despite the fact her parents weren’t there, saying she did so in part because he had been nice to her at work and at school. The victim also said she had “a crush” on Higgins and agreed that she and Higgins had flirted with each other on previous occasions.

The jury also heard testimony that Higgins had a prior history of child molestation and sodomy stemming from a 2003 case in Coweta County involving a 4-year-old girl he was babysitting. Higgins admitted to the charges and was adjudicated delinquent.

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