Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Schene: Teen provoked me, called my wife a prostitute


The former King County Sheriff's deputy on his second trial for assault says his alleged victim is to blame for his behavior.

Paul Schene has been charged with fourth-degree assault in the beating of a 15-year-old girl in a holding cell in November 2009.

On the witness stand on Monday, Schene said the victim, Malika Calhoun, assaulted him by kicking off her shoe at him. That shoe was entered as evidence on Monday as Schene told the jury the teen was trying to provoke him with her belligerent behavior.

"She referred to my wife as a prostitute, and said that she had seen my wife out on Pacific Highway," he told the jury. "It seemed like she was trying to piss us off, upset us and antagonize us."

However, Calhoun alleged the opposite when she took the stand last week. The teen admitted she insulted the then-deputy in the minutes before the jail cell attack caught on tape, but said she was only responding to the insults he'd thrown at her.

"He said, 'Well, you're working on the streets. You can work for it' -- (he was implying) that I was a prostitute," she said.

Schene had stopped Calhoun and her friend in a stolen car taken from the woman she lived with at the time. What happened next as Schene put Calhoun in the holding cell has been at the center of a months-long controversy.

Surveillance video captured the attack against Calhoun, who was 15 at the time. The footage shows Schene rush in, kick the girl, force her against a wall, then throw her to the ground. He is also seen punching her twice.

Last week, the prosecutor said Schene later downplayed the incident when he completed the mandatory use-of-force report for his supervisor: "She kicked one of her shoes off, hitting me in the right shin leg, causing me injury and pain. I placed Calhoun in handcuffs, and placed her back on a bench."

Schene said he rushed into the cell when he saw Calhoun kick a shoe toward his groin, and appeared ready to flick the other one.

In court last week, Calhoun admitted she'd aimed her shoe at the then-deputy, because she was mad at Schene over the way he was talking to her.

King County Sheriff Sue Rahr fired Schene last year for multiple violations of department policy, including excessive force.

Schene's first assault trial ended with a hung jury.

Closing arguments will be presented on Tuesday.
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