Bobbitt testifies during rape trial



MANASSAS, Va. (AP)—A woman who cut off her husband’s penis sobbed on the witness stand Monday as she told the jury he pinned her to the bed and raped her. After he fell asleep, she said, ‘‘I lifted the sheets and I cut it.’‘

John Wayne Bobbitt, 26, is accused of marital sexual assault. Mrs. Bobbitt faces her own trial Nov. 29 for the mutilation. Each could be sentenced to 20 years in prison if convicted.

The prosecutor in the rape trial told the jury of nine women and three men that Bobbitt frequently forced his wife to have sex.

The defense said the sex was consensual and Lorena Bobbitt leveled a false accusation because she was jealous and dissatisfied with his lovemaking.

A few dozen curiosity-seekers turned out to watch the first day of testimony at the trial, which has attracted international media attention and put a spotlight on men’s and women’s attitudes about rape.

Mrs. Bobbitt, 24, testified she objected several times but her husband said her objections didn’t matter. She said that after intercourse she was angry, grabbed a knife and returned to the bedroom.

‘‘I lifted the sheets and I cut it,’‘ she said.

Mrs. Bobbitt described how she fled the couple’s Manassas apartment the night of June 23, still clutching the penis and the red-handled filleting knife. She said she was midway between the apartment and her office when she realized she was still holding the organ.

‘‘I screamed and I threw it’‘ out of the car window, she said.

Mrs. Bobbitt severed two-thirds of her husband’s penis while he slept.

Police found it on a grassy corner where Mrs. Bobbitt had thrown it from a car. The organ was packed on ice and taken to Prince William Hospital, where it was reattached in a nine-hour operation.

Doctors say Bobbitt, an ex-Marine, is recovering well.

In his cross examination of Mrs. Bobbitt, defense attorney Gregory Murphy stressed inconsistencies between her testimony and prior statements about the mutilation.

Mrs. Bobbitt appeared to give conflicting statements about whether her husband used his feet or his hands to remove her running shorts and how he held her down.

‘‘I don’t know, I don’t remember,’‘ she said as Murphy read her earlier statements aloud.

Murphy told the jury Mrs. Bobbitt became upset after seeing her husband talking to another woman a few days before the multilation.

He also paraphrased Mrs. Bobbitt’s statement to police, in which she complained her husband was a selfish, insensitive lover.

‘‘She said, ‘At least he could have taken off all my clothes,’ ‘’ Murphy said. ‘‘That does not sound like the statement of a woman who has been raped.’‘

Murphy said Mrs. Bobbitt and some of her friends are chiefly concerned with making money from the highly publicized case.

‘‘That’s what this case is about,’‘ he said.

Bobbitt has made no public statement since his arrest. Mrs. Bobbitt has granted two interviews. The Bobbitts, who married four years ago, are seeking a divorce.

The prosecution, in what appeared to be a pre-emptive strike, called to the witness stand a doctor listed as a witness for the defense.

Dr. Patricia Inman testified that Mrs. Bobbitt sought treatment for hand cramps several days before the attack and that Mrs. Bobbitt said she had similar symptoms in the past when she was under stress.

Mrs. Bobbitt had testified she went to see the doctor to treat a yeast infection brought on by forcible sex.

Before testimony began, some people in the 30-member jury pool who said they had strong opinions about the case were excused. Prince William County Circuit Court Judge LeRoy F. Millette Jr. also excluded a woman who said she would be embarrassed to discuss the sensitive details of the case.

Bobbitt couldn’t be charged with marital rape because under Virginia law the charge only applies to couples living apart or if the victim is seriously physically injured.