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Student testifies at rape trial

The judge in a Durham rape trial allowed the testimony of a 21-year-old Duke student Tuesday, who recounted her own story of sexual assault in an effort to build a case against the defendant, Lawrence Hawes. The next day, a jury took only 36 minutes to find Hawes guilty of all charges and sentenced him to 96 years in prison, the Herald-Sun of Durham reported.

In her testimony, the Duke student gave a detailed account of a Sept. 5 early-morning encounter in her off-campus apartment, in which an assailant allegedly forced her at gunpoint to commit various sex acts, according to the News and Observer.

"I woke up, and there was a man straddling me with his hand over my mouth and holding my head down," she testified, according to The News and Observer. "I just lay there and he told me not to scream ... and not to awaken anyone else."

According to the News and Observer, defense attorneys pointed out that the student, who was living at the 800 block of Wilkerson Avenue at the time of the incident, had previously been unable to identify Hawes. He has not been charged in connection with the Duke student case.

Hawes was accused of the first-degree rape, sexual assault, burglary and kidnapping of a 39-year-old woman on March 7, 2002.


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