VAN NUYS : Witness Recants Her Denial of Rape

In emotionally charged testimony Thursday, the girlfriend of a Los Angeles man accused of going on a daylong rampage in North Hollywood said she lied on the witness stand last week when she denied that he abducted her at gunpoint and forced her to have sex.

The unusual recantation came in the attempted murder and rape trial of Troyal (Troy) Lee Sims, a city parking enforcement officer who faces life in prison if convicted in the Aug. 30 crime spree that left two people injured.

"I was feeling guilty about what had happened, and I was feeling sorry for Troy," the 21-year-old woman said as she explained why she called prosecutors Wednesday night and asked for an opportunity to set the record straight.

She testified that she wants to see Sims acquitted of rape charges because "he was my boyfriend of three years, and when it happened, it didn't feel like rape with a stranger."

However, when asked by Deputy Dist. Atty. Linda Acaldo, the woman said she spoke truthfully when she told police that Sims pulled her out of bed one night, put a gun to her head and forced her to accompany him on a cross-town trip. She also admitted that she had sex with him because it was "what I had to do to stay alive."

Sims, who has been giving often-interrupted testimony this week, maintains that he burst into the apartment in the hopes of saving his girlfriend, who had become involved with a group of criminals operating a forgery ring.

Sims is being tried in Superior Court on three counts of attempted murder, as well as on single counts of assault with a deadly weapon, kidnaping and rape. If convicted, he could be sentenced to three consecutive life prison terms.

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