A recorded police interview was played for a jury in the courtroom of Judge Barry Steelman Wednesday in the trial of Kennedy "Kenny" Fleming, charged with raping a woman who was staying at an apartment with him and his girlfriend. In the interview, Fleming said the woman had made everything up and that she was "just somebody I met at the community kitchen."
He said, "Most of the girls down there are on crack or pills so it's not hard to hook up with them."
The woman, living in Chattanooga to undergo treatment for opioid addiction, said she was offered a place to stay for a few days by Fleming and his girlfriend. She had previously been staying at St. Catherine's Shelter.
She said she stayed with them the first night with no problem, then stayed somewhere else the second night. However, on the third night, she said a conversation between her and Fleming made her uncomfortable, so she told him she was leaving.
The woman said Fleming called her a racist for dating white men but not black men. She said he told her he would show her what he "was all about."
She said when she went to collect her belongings from the apartment, Fleming locked her in a room with him. His girlfriend was in another room.
She said he hit her and pushed her down. She said he told her, "If you want to leave, you're going to leave in a body bag." She said he pointed a sharpened stick at her neck. In the police interview, Fleming claimed this was not sharpened and was only a walking cane.
She said after the rape, Fleming started crying and begged her not to leave. The woman said he handed her the sharpened stick and told her she could kill him if she wanted to.
She said she was scared for her life so she stayed through the night. However, in the morning, she immediately went to a rape crisis center.
Her nurse at the center, Amy Griffin, also testified on Wednesday. Mrs. Griffin read exactly what the woman told her to the jury. She said at the time of her exam, the woman was crying and would not make eye contact.
Mrs. Griffin said she did not see any marks or bruises on the woman's face or neck, but in the time that had passed, they could have faded.
Sgt. Michael Wenger, the police officer who interviewed both Fleming and the victim, said he spoke with the woman after she left the rape crisis center. He said she "seemed ashamed" and would not make eye contact. He said at one point while describing the attack, it became difficult for her to talk and she started crying.
In his interview with the defendant, Fleming told him he and the woman had slept together before, but not the night she claimed. She said this was not true.