Man charged with drugging 3 women seeks to limit testimony
BRENTWOOD - A man is seeking to limit the testimony of three women who say they were drugged and in one case sexually assaulted by him at a Portsmouth apartment in July.
Aaron Bonds, 43, of Dover is headed to trial in June on charges of aggravated felonious sexual assault and dispensing a controlled drug for allegedly supplying the women with what they believed was cocaine.
Defense lawyer Brian Lavallee argued that the three women could incriminate themselves when they testify against Bonds at his trial, so he has asked a judge to hold a hearing to determine if their testimony should be limited.
A judge would have to determine whether the women had to assert their Fifth Amendment right to not incriminate themselves of criminal wrongdoing while on the witness stand. If a judge agrees with the defense, it could force prosecutors to change how much information could be presented to a jury at Bonds' trial.
Prosecutors have yet to respond to the defense's claim.
Lavallee said only one of the women was ever in possession of the drugs.
"(She) was never charged with being unlawfully in possession of a controlled drug," Lavallee said in a court motion.
Portsmouth police say that Bonds met up with two of the women at a Portsmouth restaurant on July 11 and provided them with what they believed was cocaine. They met up with a third woman at a Portsmouth apartment.
Bonds raped a 26-year-old woman while she was under the influence of an unknown drug and unable to speak or resist, according to prosecutors.
All three women told police they snorted the drug and became nauseous and unable to move. The defense suggested in an earlier court motion that they may also challenge DNA evidence recently obtained by the state.
Prosecutors won a request last month to consolidate all the charges into one trial because much of the evidence and witness testimony would be the same.
Bonds, a convicted sex offender, is being held at the Rockingham County jail. He was convicted of sexual assault in 2003.
Bonds was charged with three counts of sexual assault and could face up to 20 to 40 years in prison on each charge if convicted.