Last of evidence presented in case against Carlevato
The prosecution went out with a bang Wednesday in El Dorado County Superior Court by presenting powerful testimony as the last of their evidence against Edwin Carlevato.
South Lake Tahoe Police Detective Brian Williams took the stand and revealed that 47-year-old Carlevato had spoken to him during a trip from the jail to Barton Memorial Hospital, a facility the suspect visited to have his blood drawn for DNA analysis.
During the short drive, the defendant, charged with 11 felony counts that include kidnap and rape, said to Williams: “I know the charges are one thing, but I never used any violence against anybody.”
Donald Heape, the defendant’s court-apppointed attorney, immediately followed the testimony by asking the detective: “Did he say, ‘I raped someone?’ Did he say, ‘I kidnapped someone?’ Did he say ‘I threatened someone with a handgun?”
To each question Williams answered, “No, not in those words.”
Carlevato’s DNA is an “indistinguishable match” with DNA samples taken from semen found on the two women who claim they were sexually assaulted. The DNA analysis report, which has not been disputed by the defense, is a 1 to 99 billion match.
The defense is expected to present evidence when the trial resumes Tuesday. In December, Heape said in his opening statement that his client will take the stand. The defense is expected to argue that Carlevato had consensual sex with two of the victims he is accused of assaulting, and that he never had any contact with a third woman who he is accused of attempting to kidnap on Shepherds Drive in September 1998.
Also expected to be key to the defense’s case is whether or not a 52-year-old woman had her hands tied behind her back during the alleged rape. The woman testified earlier this week that her attacker tied her wrists with some type of thin material, but that he cut the material after she asked him to.
Wednesday the prosecution also presented as evidence gaming receipts that placed Carlevato at South Shore casinos the same days two alleged assaults occurred. An evidence technician said she found about 10 boxes full of thousands of sport book receipts. Heape said earlier during the trial that his client was a regular gambler at Stateline.
Carlevato, a former poker room manager, was arrested Nov. 4, 1999 while working at Jackson Rancheria Casino. Investigators identified Carlevato as a suspect after they disseminated to media a surveillance video taken at a South Shore 7-Eleven in July 1999. According to the prosecution, the defendant stopped there to buy cigarettes with one of his alleged victims, a 37-year-old who now lives in Kentucky. Four days later the woman told an investigator about the visit.
Carlevato has a wife of 25 years and two children. He lived in Pioneer, Calif., a small community in Amador County off State Route 88.
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