NEW YORK -- A defense lawyer who has vowed to grill the Central Park rape victim about her sex life gave what could be a preview of his tactics Wednesday when he taunted a male jogger who was hospitalized after being beaten by the teen gang.
John Loughlin, 42, was jogging around the park's moonlit reservoir track on April 19, 1989, when he noticed a dozen teens surrounding and beating a victim, he testified at the trial of two youths.
He said he stopped and a youth about five feet away asked him, 'What are you -- some kind of vigilante?'
The next thing he knew he was on the ground being throttled on the head, torso and legs by the gang, blood gushing over his body, Loughlin testified.
The New York City junior high school teacher required stitches to close his head wounds, was hospitalized for two days and doctors told him his injuries were 'life-threatening,' he testified.
A police officer who assisted Loughlin testified during a pre-trial hearing that he looked as though he had been 'dipped in a bucket of blood.'
Kharey Wise, 18, and Kevin Richardson, 16, are on trial at state Supreme Court in Manhattan on 13 criminal counts stemming from the 'wilding' rampage, including the assault of Loughlin and the rape and attempted murder of the woman jogger.
The Wall Street banker was found naked but for a jogging bra, unconscious and bleeding in a muddy gully off the 102nd Street Transverse. She suffered two head fractures, brain damage and severe memory loss.
The 30-year-old woman from Upper St. Clair, Pa., testified for the prosecution at the first trial in the case last summer but was unable to remember a single detail about the attack.
Because she was unable to identify any of her attackers, the defense chose not to cross-examine her because it could have created juror sympathy for the victim.
Moore, however, has said he plans a different tactic when the woman jogger takes the witness stand sometime in the next few weeks. He has vowed to vigorously question her about her sex life in an effort to prove she was never raped but had a sexual tryst at her apartment before going jogging.
The jury viewed 11 photographs of the wounds inflicted on Loughlin, who still has head pain and knee trouble some 18 months after the attack.
But under cross-examination, Wise's lawyer, Colin Moore, ridiculed Loughlin about his victimization and the seriousness of his injuries.
Moore held up one of the photographs, depicting a leg injury.
'Look at this picture, Mr. Loughlin. That little nick was life threatening?!' Moore scoffed.
'No,' answered the former Marine as the youths' supporters snickered from the back of the courtroom.
Moore also asked the 6-foot 4-inch tall, 190-pound man, 'How did you feel when they called you a vigilante?'
'Perplexed,' Loughlin answered, looking over at the prosecutor's table to a pile of blood-soaked clothing he was wearing the night of the attack.
'Only perplexed? But if you were scared, you could have run away. But you chose not to -- didn't you?' Moore pressed, again eliciting laughter from the crowd.
Later, under questioning by Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth Lederer, Loughlin testified that he was, 'Perplexed, and I feared for my life.'