FRANKLYWNOW - Prosecutor: 'Baseline Killer' tried to hide DNA with dirt

Prosecutor: 'Baseline Killer' tried to hide DNA with dirt

PHOENIX, Arizona (AP) -- For more than a year, she struggled to identify the man who sexually assaulted her and her sister in a park. When she couldn't find his face in a police lineup, she struggled to forget him.

Baseline Killer suspect Mark Goudeau has pleaded not guilty to a sex assault police say is linked to the killings.

But nearly two years after the attack, the 25-year-old woman said she now knows who rushed toward them that night, pointed a gun at her pregnant belly and forced himself on them.

That man is Mark Goudeau, the woman testified through tears Monday.

"I was telling him to let us go," the woman, who was speaking in Spanish, said through an interpreter.

Police say the attack on September 20, 2005, was part of a string of killings, rapes, robberies and other crimes that Goudeau committed between 2005 and 2006. They say he is the so-called Baseline Killer, a serial predator named for the south Phoenix street where many of the early attacks took place.

Monday's hearing began one of two trials for Goudeau. The first includes 19 charges and focuses on the alleged sexual assault of the sisters.

A second trial that includes nine murder counts has not yet been scheduled. Goudeau has pleaded not guilty to all charges. He could face between 70 and 280 years in prison if convicted of all counts.

During opening statements Monday, prosecutors told the jury Goudeau tried to conceal his identity by telling the women not to look at him. He also tried to throw off police by using a condom and rubbing dirt on one sister's body to obscure his DNA, they said.

But "as much as he tried, he could not hide his DNA," Deputy County Attorney Suzanne Cohen said.

Defense lawyer Corwin Townsend disputed the prosecutor's account and told jurors there was no DNA match that connected Goudeau to the crime. He said a state investigator merely concluded that Goudeau "cannot be excluded" as a possible source of the DNA.

Townsend also pointed out that neither sister was able to identify Goudeau in photo lineups before or shortly after his arrest. He said the sisters recognized Goudeau only several months after the attack.

"They have the wrong man," Townsend said.

The 25-year-old woman explained how the gunman sexually assaulted her sister while she lay nearby. "I wanted to get up but I thought if I got up he would hurt my sister," she said.

After the attack, the sisters walked through the neighborhood, pounding on doors and hoping someone would help, the woman testified.

"We were scared," she said. "We could barely speak."

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