Opening statements delivered Monday in Patrick Durocher trial

By Stuart Foster

(Shannon Broderick/Daily Collegian)
(Shannon Broderick/Daily Collegian)

The trial of Patrick Durocher, a 20-year-old former University of Massachusetts student who is being charged with aggravated rape, kidnapping and assault began Monday in Hampshire Superior Court.

After a full jury was impaneled Monday, the prosecutor, Assistant Northwestern District Attorney Jennifer H. Suhl, provided her opening statements for the trial.

Suhl said that the victim, who was allegedly attacked by Durocher on her way home from a fraternity party on Sept. 2, 2013 was “so intoxicated she was helpless to defend herself,” and was held against a tree outside of the UMass Campus Center by her throat before being raped, according to MassLive.

Vincent Bongiorni, a Springfield attorney representing Durocher’s defense, said that Durocher and the victim, also a UMass student, had met at the fraternity party earlier that night and that they had consensual sex outside of the Campus Center.

Bongiorni said that the victim gave “at least seven” accounts of the incident to the police because she was “shamed and embarrassed” by the footage and that witnesses said the bruises on the victim looked like hickeys, reported MassLive.

The first witness in the trial, 21-year-old UMass student Alexis Smither, who is a sociology and psychology major, also testified Monday.

Smither, a witness of the event, said she saw a group of men laughing at a man on top of a woman whose eyes were completely closed before he got up and walked away, after which Smither and her friends shook the woman to wake her.

“She just kept saying ‘Help me, I don’t know what’s going on,” Smither said.

Bongiorni said that the woman regretted the sex with Durocher and feared the ridicule from her classmates for making a bad decision. He urged the jurors to be open to both sides of the story before making a decision.

The Durocher trial will continue Tuesday in Hampshire Superior Court.

Durocher, of Longmeadow, is out on a $10,000 bail and is no longer a UMass student.


Stuart Foster can be reached at [email protected] or followed on Twitter @Stuart_C_Foster.