Fellow tennis players, electricians and relatives testified in behalf of Leroy Allen Lovelace yesterday during the fourth day of the Arlington Circuit Court multiple rape case.
Lovelace, a 39-year-old electrician, has pleaded not guilty to 15 felony charges, including three counts of rape, one of sexual assault, three counts of abduction, four counts of robbery and four counts of breaking and entering.
Two fellow tennis players testified that they had seen Lovelace at the Turkey Thicket Recreation Center in Northeast Washington around 9 a.m. on July 18. A woman testified Wednesday that she was sexually assaulted on that date and that her assailant left her Arlington home around 9 a.m.
Two relatives, a nephew and a sister, testified that they had spent the night at Lovelace's Arlington home and saw him early in the morning of Nov. 28, 1986, around the time that one of the rapes occurred. The witnesses gave conflicting statements as to the time Lovelace went to bed the night before and as to when each of them went to bed.
Lovelace's foreman at work, Tom Sunderly, showed the court a time log in which he had written that Lovelace had worked eight hours on June 15, the day another early morning rape occurred. No specific time was noted.
A coworker, Kim Rhodes, testified to Lovelace's character by stating she had "never heard anything slanderous about his reputation." In cross examination, Commonwealth Attorney Barbara L. Walker pointed out that Rhodes has been convicted of a felony.
Defense attorney John C. Youngs is not disputing the victims' statements that they were attacked, but rather, he has asserted that Lovelace was not their assailant.
The case is based largely on circumstantial evidence because the attacker disguised his face during the assaults. The women have testified that the man who attacked them wore either a bandanna or a ski mask. A blue bandanna and other clothing matching some of the victims' testimony has been entered into evidence as property seized in Lovelace's car or home.
Youngs moved to strike all counts against Lovelace because, he said, no one victim could positively identify him beyond a reasonable doubt.
Judge Paul F. Sheridan denied the motion. "If that's true, then a clever rapist who doesn't fall into the hands of police . . . could never be prosecuted," he said.