Fingertip Put Into Evidence as Trial Begins in Rape Cases

Times Staff Writer

A fingertip, allegedly bitten off by a victim, was introduced in evidence Tuesday as a man accused of a series of rapes in Burbank, North Hollywood and Toluca Lake went on trial in San Fernando Superior Court.

Terry Allen Wilson, 32, of Littlerock, near Palmdale, is charged with seven rapes, three counts of oral copulation, eight burglaries and four other crimes, including assault.

Wilson was arrested July 26, 1985, as he sought treatment for an injury to the tip of his left ring finger at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Panorama City. After Wilson's arrest, police said he was a suspect in 45 crimes that occurred in 1984 and 1985. He was not charged in most of those cases.

Fought off Assailant

Pamela Gardner, 35, the first prosecution witness, described how she fought off a masked assailant who entered her bedroom about 4 a.m. on the morning of Wilson's arrest.

Gardner said she bit through a leather glove into the finger of a man who had forced her down on her bed and tried to cover her mouth with his hand.

"I felt a finger slip into my mouth," Gardner said. "I was very scared and I bit the finger. . . . I could taste blood in my mouth."

She said the attacker ran and that she found the fingertip in her bed some days later.

Preserved in a sealed jar, a fingertip that the prosecution alleges is that of Wilson was presented in court. The defense stipulated that the jar contained a fingertip and the jar was not presented to the jury for inspection.

Gardner testified that, after the assailant ran from the house, she noticed a pair of yellow shorts was missing.

Found Stained Shorts

Deputy Dist. Atty. Kent Cahill said that, near Wilson's car, police found Gardner's bloodstained shorts, which also were entered as evidence.

Cahill told the jury that much of the prosecution's case would be built on the testimony of nine victims and the analysis of semen samples taken from crime scenes, and that the prosecution would try to show that the crimes followed a pattern.

Police said most victims were single women living alone in ground-floor apartments, which an intruder entered by removing a screen and opening a window.

The trial was scheduled to resume today before Judge Howard Schwab.

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World