News

Rape defendant takes stand; accuses nanny of attacking him

After more than an hour on the witness stand, a man charged with raping a nanny in 2008 was taken out of the courtroom after a loud, angry outburst.

Rudolph Valentino Smith, 44, is on trial, charged with raping the nanny at her employers’ home off Bass Road on May 1, 2008.

Smith testified Thursday that he was in the neighborhood cleaning a house when he walked to a second house to return a bathtub stopper that he took accidentally while cleaning the house the previous day.

On his way back from returning the item, he said the nanny yelled at him to come check a thermostat. He went inside, checked the thermostat and was about to leave when the nanny attacked him, he testified.

“She had her head down, swinging,” Smith said.

He testified that the nanny also accused him of raping her. Afraid, Smith ran away.

“I was shook up,” he said.

Smith denied raping or sexually assaulting the then 21-year-old woman.

Toward the end of his testimony, Smith became upset when his attorney asked him a question.

“I didn’t rape nobody,” he said, becoming angry.

Debra Gomez, Smith’s lawyer, asked him to calm down, and he replied, “I’ve got a right to be angry.”

Smith’s face became red and he started to yell profanity. The judge excused the jury to a separate room.

Deputies ushered Smith out of the courtroom as he yelled that “white people with money” were why he was on trial.

Smith apologized to the judge when he returned to the courtroom about 20 minutes later.

Earlier in the afternoon, Gomez told the jury in her opening statement that Smith was trying to turn his life around at the time of the alleged rape.

“Mr. Smith has no idea why (the nanny) has accused him of doing this,” she said.

Gomez admitted that Smith had been to prison for armed robbery and voluntary manslaughter. But when he was released in 2006, he vowed to his mother and grandmother that he wouldn’t do anything again that would put him back in prison, she said.

The prosecution rested its case Thursday morning after jurors listened to the nanny’s distraught call to 911.

A former DNA analyst for the GBI also testified that DNA taken from hair found on Smith’s boxers matched the nanny’s. Male DNA also was found on items included in the sexual assault evidence collected from the nanny, but the DNA could not be matched to a particular person’s identity.

The defense called William Watson, a DNA processing consultant, to testify Thursday afternoon.

Watson said it’s possible that hair can be transferred from one piece of clothing to another.

He also testified that if he’d been analyzing the evidence, he would have tested items for saliva, since the case includes allegations of oral sex.

The case has helped prompt a bill that’s still pending in the state Legislature that would ban some felons from jobs that would send them into homes unless their civil rights had been restored.

Before the rape charge was filed, Smith had been convicted of six felonies dating to 1986. The crimes ranged from robbery to voluntary manslaughter, according to the Georgia Department of Corrections.

Testimony is scheduled to continue today.

Information from The Telegraph’s archives was included in this report.

  Comments