The mother of a 15-year-old Aspen Hill rape victim testified yesterday that she "will never forget the sight" of her daughter, "white as a ghost" with "her whole body rattling," as the girl appeared outside the sliding glass doors of their home on July 30, 1981, minutes after she had been raped.
"She didn't say what had happened," the mother told a Montgomery County Circuit Court jury. "She would just blurt out statements, such as . . . 'We've got to leave, move away from here because he knows who we are.' "
The mother testified that she didn't ask her daughter, who was barefoot and clad only in a T-shirt and underpants, if she had been raped. "It was so obvious . . . everything that happened was written all over her face."
The testimony by the victim's mother opened the first day of the trial of Timothy Joseph Buzbee, who is charged with kidnaping and rape for allegedly abducting the teen-ager from her home, driving her to another house and raping her.
Buzbee, scheduled to stand trial in coming months on charges stemming from three other later rapes, has pleaded not guilty to all the crimes.
As yesterday's trial opened before Circuit Court Judge John N. Mitchell, Buzbee's attorney told the jurors that law enforcement officials "have prosecuted the wrong man in this case. A horrible mistake has been made to the point that it is almost malicious."
The attorney, Reginald W. Bours III, asserted that he would show that the prosecution is attempting "to stretch and strain the evidence to fit Mr. Buzbee, when the evidence doesn't fit at all."
But Assistant State's Attorney Barry Hamilton, in his opening statement to the jury, asserted that Buzbee was the cause of "an evening filled with the most unspeakable forms of terror, horror and agony" for the 15-year-old girl.
The victim "had torn from her two things that money can never replace--her youth and her innocence, and the person responsible," Hamilton said as he pointed across the courtroom to Buzbee, "is seated there between two of his three lawyers."
Hamilton said the girl was home alone watching television and had started toward the kitchen with some dirty dishes when she was grabbed from behind by a man shortly after 11 p.m. on July 30, 1981. The attacker put his hand over her mouth and made every effort so that she wouldn't see him, as he took her to her bedroom and ordered her to tie two pairs of socks together, according to Hamilton. One pair he used as a gag, and the second, as a blindfold. The victim was then taken outside to a car and driven around by her assailant, who, according to Hamilton, said he was "trying to confuse her."
Finally, the car stopped and the victim was taken into a house and up to a second-floor bedroom where she was raped, Hamilton said. The assailant then ordered her to get dressed in the T-shirt and underpants she was wearing when he abducted her, and drove her to the street behind her home. He deposited her in a back yard adjoining her own yard and fled.
Seconds later, the girl's mother, who had come home about a half hour earlier, heard "a scream and banging" on the glass doors and found her daughter there, "quietly hysterical . . . and terrified," according to testimony.
Hamilton said that because the victim was able to look down and see out from under the blindfold, she gave descriptions of her abductor's car and the house where she was raped. Those descriptions matched Buzbee's car and the home of Buzbee's parents, according to Hamilton.
And although the victim "did not get a look at her assailant's face," she "heard his voice over and over and over," according to Hamilton. The prosecutor said that last fall the victim was able to identify her attacker by listening to a series of telephone conservations conducted by police with Buzbee and several other men. Hamilton said he would present testimony from this "voice line-up."
When it was the defense's turn to speak to the jurors, Bours asserted that the voice line-up was "unreliable." It was conducted 15 months after the victim had heard her assailant's voice, Bours said. Further, he said, the voices of all the other men called by police were ''distinctively different than Buzbee's. All of the voices were older."
The descriptions the victim gave of her abductor's car and house differed in various ways from Buzbee's silver Toyota and his father's home. The theory that the rape occurred in the elder Buzbee's home "is absurd," Bours said.
"Please don't allow Mr. Hamilton to put a square peg in a round hole," Bours told the jury. "He's trying to make the evidence fit."