SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - The former Shreveport city official accused of forcible rape and abuse of office took the stand Thursday afternoon in his own defense, telling prosecutors his theory on why his accuser claims he raped her.
Much of former Assistant Chief Administrative Officer's testimony confirmed the timeline and course of events laid out by his accuser in her testimony on Wednesday - only from Seaton's perspective, it was all consensual.
Seaton confirms that he brought the young woman he is accused of raping in the Mayor's office on the night of the 2010 Independence Bowl to the city jail, saying they kissed on the way there.
Later that evening, Seaton told the court, they made their way back to Government Plaza, where they went to his office to make phone calls to bail bondsmen. He also confirms that the victim was sitting on his lap, but described it on the stand as consensual.
Time stamps created by his use of a key card confirm their entry into the Mayor's administrative officers at 9:04 p.m. on December 27, 2010.
Seaton says from 9:04 p.m. to 9:28 p.m., they were in the Mayor's office, where he says "I sat down on the couch. She took off her clothes. I took off my clothes. We had sex." Prompted by questioning from his attorney, Marty Stroud, Seaton confirms they had sex twice, and in what positions.
Stroud asked, "Did you force yourself on her?" to which Seaton replied, "No."
"Did she ask you to stop?" asks Stroud, to which Seaton again replied, "No."
According to Seaton, the sex lasted around five minutes, after which he threw the condom away in the trash can. On the stand, Seaton made a point to note that the used prophylactic was tossed on top of the other trash in the receptacle and not buried beneath.
After bringing the young woman to the casino, Seaton testified that he made his way home, arriving around 10:15 p.m. He says he received a call from his boss, Shreveport Mayor Cedric Glover, around 1:00 a.m., telling him he was fired.
Wrapping up the questioning from the defense, Stroud asked Seaton if he felt he could have done better and whether he had any remorse. Seaton replied, "Yes. I could have made better decisions." Stroud followed up by asking Seaton whether he believes he ever intended to commit a criminal act, to which Seaton replied, "No."
In an effort to demonstrate the impact the allegations have had on Seaton's life, Seaton's attorney also asked where he is working now. He says he is working for Giglio Plumbing, for $15 an hour.
Seaton's testimony lasted just over an hour and a half. Witnesses in the courtroom describe his demeanor as "very calm" and "unemotional."
On cross-examination by prosecutor Hugo Holland, Seaton confirmed he was there when his accuser's boyfriend was arrested, and admitted to commenting to an officer about finding her attractive. He says he was not drinking on the night in question, that he did know that she was from out of town, didn't know where to go or what to do - and that she was 18. He also testified that he did not know she was intoxicated.
Seaton claims that she kissed him in the car on the way to the city jail, and that it surprised him. He confirmed that he did have two cell phones on him that night, and that he could have taken her to the casino to make the calls to bail bondsmen. He did not offer an explanation as to why he chose to take her to his office at Government Plaza instead.
Seaton testified that he does not know anything about the belly button ring or how it got torn out, claiming he's never seen it. He also denies erasing any of the surveillance video the prosecution contends was missing from the system but was later recovered from the server.
Seaton says that while he did have access to view the video, he could not erase it. He also said he would not have had an opportunity to do so because his computer was seized. Prosecutors briefly put a Caddo detective on the stand following Seaton's testimony to establish that the computer was not seized until two days after the alleged rape took place.
As for motive, Seaton testified, "My theory was that she was trying to get leverage with the city to get her boyfriend out of jail."
"So you say that she was making up this story before any of the sexual acts took place?" asked Caddo ADA Hugo Holland. "
"I didn't say it made sense, but that was the only theory that I could come up with for her actions," replied Seaton.
Day 3 of Seaton's bench trial began with the prosecution wrapping up its case and the defense bringing its first witness: forensic toxicologist Dr. James Booker.
Dr. Booker testified that smell is not an accurate indicator of whether someone is drunk or how drunk they are. Based on how many drinks Seaton's accuser is believed to have had, and what he heard on the bus surveillance video, Booker testified that she may have been drunk - but not to the point where she couldn't have had conversations, and not to the point that she would have blacked out.
The accuser testified on Wednesday that she had had a glass of "jack and diet coke" that had been refilled several times, as well as beer, during the game. On the stand, she told the court that she does not remember the altercation at the game that led to the arrest of her boyfriend, or getting on or off the bus.
The trial began on Tuesday, with testimony from an officer who placed Seaton in contact with the victim on the evening of the Independence Bowl in December 2010, as well as bus driver, a DNA expert, crime scene investigator and a bail bondsman.
Thursday's testimony ended just after 5:00 p.m. The trial will resume for closing arguments on Friday at 2:00 p.m.