Gary Dale Baker thought he had selected the perfect prey, a prosecutor told jurors Wednesday, but in the end, she said, the ex-cop was undone by the evidence he left behind and his own lies.
“This officer of 22 years picked the perfect victim. She can’t come here and stand up for herself, she can’t communicate,” said Sacramento County Deputy District Attorney Amy Hollidayin her closing argument.
Jurors heard closing arguments Wednesday in Baker’s rape trial in Sacramento Superior Court, nearly three years after the former Sacramento police officer’s shocking 2012 arrest on allegations he sexually assaulted a septuagenarian stroke victim at her south Sacramento senior living complex in 2010 and again in 2012. Attorneys’ arguments conclude Thursday morning.
Baker, 52, faces 10 counts including allegations of rape by force, forced oral copulation, sexual battery and burglary at trial before Judge Ernest Sawtelle.
Baker maintained he and the woman referred to at trial as “Jane Doe” engaged in consensual sex in what he termed a casual relationship. He was 49, and Doe was 75 at the time of the first alleged attack in 2010.
But Holliday recounted the woman’s tearful descriptions of her alleged attacks to family members, how she used the words “rape” and “police,” and how she had to rely on written words, notes and gestures to describe the acts after she was largely robbed of her ability to communicate by a severe stroke in 2009.
“The bottom line: Was it consensual or was it not consensual? That’s the bottom line,” Holliday said, arguing that Doe “steadfastly asserted” the sex was not consensual and that she communicated that declaration despite her condition.
Baker attorney Linda Parisi said the former police officer did not rape Doe and questioned whether Doe uttered the word “rape” to relatives, saying the word doesn’t appear in any of her scribbled notes to police, nor, Parisi said, did investigators note the word in their initial interview reports with family members. Parisi said Doe’s limited ability to communicate forced relatives and investigators to try to interpret what she said and meant. Doe did not testify at the trial.
“Where are the accusations? Where’s the accuser? People made interpretations. That’s not enough for reasonable doubt,” Parisi said, calling the case against Baker “proof based on a guessing game.”
Parisi also suggested that statements to Sacramento police by Doe’s family were motivated by a civil lawsuit filed in 2013 against Baker and the city of Sacramento on Doe’s behalf.
“The first time we hear ‘rape’ is in 2013 after the lawsuit has been filed. It didn’t happen,” Parisi said. “The family said they couldn’t understand her long before they had a motive for jurors to believe them.”
But Holliday pointed to DNA on Doe’s clothing and in her apartment that matched Baker’s as well as bruising and genital trauma discovered in examinations that pointed to sexual assault. Finally, there were Baker’s denials to police that he had sex with Doe before the admission that led to his December 2012 arrest and the end of his law enforcement career.