DETECTIVE DENNIS DERR
Friday, September 1, 2011
DIRECT of DETECTIVE DENNIS DERR
Detective Derr works as a detective for the LAPD-Van Nuys Division. He has worked there for the past 14 years. Detective Derr was the Investigating Officer in the case. He spoke to SL and participated in the DA interview with SL. SL said D asked her to go to dinner via text, and they were texting back and forth and eventually agreed they wouldn’t make specific plans and decide later. This is why Detective Derr wrote “No dinner plans” in his report, he explains.
Detective Derr conducted an interview with JT. In the interview, Detective Derr asked if D had intercourse with JT, penetrating her vagina. Detective Derr pressed JT not in an attempt to convince her, he contends, but as there is often a lot of confusion as to the meaning of penetration and rape. Over the course of his three years of work with the special victim cases, Detective Derr has noticed that rape victims often only thought they had been penetrated if the penis had gone all the way. The Penal Code defines penetration as “even the slightest.” Detective Derr is different than RN Lague in his job function. Detective Derr, in his job, looks for elements of facts that violate a particular portion of the Penal Code. RN Lague does not do this.
Detective Derr began the investigation in April of 2009. Detective Robert Ward was assigned to the Da Silva case before this.
CROSS-EX of DETECTIVE DERR
During his interview of SL, Detective Derr took notes. In these notes he wrote, “D, via texting, asked her to go to dinner later. D texted her when in another workshop asking, ‘When?’ No plans to go to dinner decided to hang out later after performance.”
Detective Derr stated that rape victims don’t understand what sexual intercourse is. JT said to Officer Bohac “no penetration”. Detective Derr had read the report. The SART RN report was completed after Detective Derr had submitted his. In the interview, Detective Derr was there with a female detective, Detective Torres. Her voice can be heard on the recording. JT told Detective Derr she was still wearing boyshorts:
JT: “D wasn’t able to put his penis in me?”
DD: “Where did you feel D’s penis?”
JT: “Inner part of leg.”
DD: “Ever touch your vagina?”
DD: “Slightest bit inside?”
JT: “He tried to but couldn’t because I was moving side to side.”
DD: “Did it ever line up just in the right place?”
JT eventually says, “A little bit” and “outside.” Detective Derr goes on to press whether a half, quarter, sixteenth, even a fingernail. Defense asks to which option did she say yes. Detective Derr said he does not think they are different questions but they are different amount of lengths. He contends that he said the various lengths rapidly to prevent being accused of leading.
DD: “How far?”
JT: “Not far.”
DEFENSE DIRECT of DETECTIVE DERR
Detective Derr interviewed the four girls, PM, PD, FM, and JT. Detective Derr wanted to determine the dates of incidents with specificity.
PM told Detective Ward a specific date. Detective Derr was satisfied and didn’t investigate further.
JT reported the day the incident occurred was March 28th. To determine this date, Detective Derr utilized a calendar and JT informed him this was the date.
With FM, Detective Derr participated in her initial interview but she didn’t come forward immediately so they could not pinpoint time.
PD approximated the date around her brother-in-law’s birthday. The date was her calculation not Detective Derr’s. Detective Derr used a calendar to assist PD.
For PM’s investigation, Detective Derr interviewed Rick Payne. When he did, he reviewed Detective Ward’s report. Detective Derr interviewed Rick Payne on July 30, 2009. Detective Derr wrote that Rick Payne described PM as “anxious, jittery, afraid.” [Defense told has to interview Detective Ward to see if this is consistent with his report.]
PM’s attack occurred in April 2009. Rick Payne had told Detective Derr in his interview that he broke off his relationship with PM during the prior January. Detective Derr did interview PM. On April 4, 2009, PM said D got a movie at the Odyssey Video close to the dance studios.
FM told Detective Derr that she went to D’s house after the night of the incident with sexual encounter involving her tampon. In the interview, FM told Detective Derr that “D didn’t show up to Mama Juana’s and she went to his house and found him there and went to D’s bedroom.” Detective Derr interviewed FM with DA Rosa Alacon that she saw the grabbing of a girls’ butt by D. FM was upset by this grabbing or slapping of the butt; Detective Derr doesn’t recall this but also doesn’t recall the girl not being FM herself.
In her interview, JT said she slept with D twice before. She told Detective Derr that every time JT went to D’s salsa class, she slept with him. Detective Derr maintains that he wanted to fully investigate the Da Silva case. Defense points out that Detective Derr did not check the Edge logs to see how many times JT went to D’s class. Detective Derr did go to inspect the Edge in person. Detective Derr didn’t check if JT was telling the truth. He could have gotten the records that would have corroborated her claim or not. Defense asks, “Did you ask her if she had consensual sex, two times, three times, a half…?” Detective Derr says, “No.”
FM indicates to Detective Derr that the night after the incident with the tampon, the night after she went to Mama Juana’s, she goes to the Conga Room. There FM meets FC and Gloria and then bangs on the door and wants to know if he’s sleeping with another girl. Detective Derr didn’t interview FC or Gloria. Neither answered their phones.
PD told Detective Derr that D was “so small she couldn’t feel him inside.” Yet Detective Derr still charged the case as a raped case.
[The People/Prosecution offer a stipulation provided by the Defense that D’s DNA was found in:
D’s saliva present on the left bup of JT’s bra (2009)
D’s semen present on the zipper area of her green pants (2004).]