Case #802120 Ch. 05byslave802120©
Part 5 - The Trial
My clothes were returned to me after my shower and I was allowed to wear them when I was transported from the holding tank cell to the courthouse. Once there, and after my details were added to the day's trial list, I was escorted into a small room and had my shackles removed. The Saturday morning sunshine streamed into the room and I could see people outside doing everyday things. Except for the bars on the windows, and the fact I was at the courthouse and not at home, everything almost felt perfectly normal after the bizarre events of the previous 12 hours. I was staring absently out the window when a court orderly announced the arrival of my husband. He was accompanied by a man he introduced as Paul Rosin -- an attorney who would defend me in court.
I embraced my husband tightly and didn't want to let him go, but there wasn't much time and there was a lot to discuss. Mr Rosin did most of the talking and my husband nodded a lot. I mostly just sat there listening and trying to absorb everything. Mr Rosin also read my husband the whole White Slave Act of 2000, just as it had been read to me the previous night. The densely worded legal jargon still didn't make a lot of sense to me, but Mr Rosin appeared to understand it all, so I felt a little more comfortable and confident.
"Now, one question before we begin," Mr Rosin said. He directed it at me. "Did you undergo a blood test?"
"A blood test?"
"A blood-alcohol reading?"
"No," I replied. "Should I have?"
"Well, it could certainly have helped to prove our case if you had. Assuming, of course, that it could have shown a low reading. How many drinks did you have?"
"Two. I only had two glasses of wine!"
Mr Rosin began scribbling notes in a pad. For the first time since my arrest, I felt like somebody actually believed me.
"Two glass. Wine. Red or white?" he asked.
"Red," I replied confidently.
"Standard sized glasses?"
"Yes, I think so."
The smile on my face sort of froze when I remembered the champagne.
"Well, I had some champagne for the toasts," I said.
Mr Rosin continued to scribble without looking up.
"How many toasts?"
"Um, three. No wait! Four. Um, three --"
Mr Rosin peered up over the silver rim of his glasses.
"Three or four? It's important that you know."
"Three. It was definitely three," I said firmly. I actually remembered now it had been four, but I thought it was only a small lie and nobody would know anyway.
Mr Rosin went on to ask a lot of other trivial questions about the events of yesterday that led up to my arrest. I answered them all as best I could remember and was eager to tell him all about the perverse things the arresting officers had done to me, but he closed his book and told me flatly that none of that was relevant to my case.
"It's not? But ... but that's so unfair!" I whined.
"Let me put it this way for you, Ingrid. Right now you are facing two very serious charges: being drunk in a public place and resisting arrest. Either one of those on their own, if convicted, could result in you being enslaved. We need to deal with this issue first before we start making very serious accusations against the police. OK?"
I could physically feel a sense of defeat crushing me.
"Yes. Yes, I understand..." I said solemnly.
"Good. I'll see you in court," Mr Rosin smiled, rose from the table and pressed a buzzer near the door to page a court orderly.
"It's OK," my husband said as he hugged me again. "It's going to be OK."
I hugged him tightly and pressed the side of my face against his chest. I could hear his heart beating. It was a fast, unsteady rhythm that betrayed his outwardly confident assurances.
Time passed slowly after my husband and Mr Rosin left the room but eventually, the door opened again. Two uniformed guards from the Public Slave Office entered and reshackled me in steel manacles before I was shuffled to the courtroom.
I nervously glanced around the room at the judge's bench, the 12 empty jury seats, and the small public gallery behind the prosecution and defense tables. Two bailiffs were casually chatting at the back of the room and a third came over to take custody of me after my shackles were again removed. The wait before everybody arrived seemed interminable.
"All rise," a bailiff called for attention. "Case number 802120 in the county court of Eastlake; judge Travis T. Walters presiding."
The trial, such as it was, lasted about 30 minutes. Throughout it I sat nervously fidgeting and listening as witnesses for the prosecution took the stand and, under oath, made statements about me that were totally untrue. I desperately want to call out my denials of what they were saying, but Mr Rosin quietly patted my thigh and warned me to keep quiet and calm. The two officers each told identical stories -- that they'd received a call to the bar at around 8.45pm where they found me "intoxicated and causing a disturbance." They cited witnesses, including my boss, Nelson, the barman and several patrons who would testify to this. They also asserted that I became aggressive toward them when they tried to speak to me and that I had to be physically restrained by them when they arrested me.
I had never heard such bare faced lies before. The judge, for his part, sat casually in his chair tapping a pencil against his chin as he listened. Occasionally he'd look in my direction to frown and shake his head.
My own attorney inadvertently made things look even worse for me during cross-examination of my boss. He drew from Nelson a lot of good things about me, like how diligent I was at work and how he considered me to be "quiet and unassuming". When asked about the events at the bar he explained it was a low-key celebration at a respectable establishment. He'd said he'd ordered two bottles of champagne which were to be shared between everybody at our table.
"Two bottles?" my attorney asked.
"Yes. That's all. I figured that would be enough for everybody to have a glass each -- a modest amount that woudn't get anybody into trouble," Nelson said.
"That sounds reasonable. And my client -- she had one glass like everybody else?"
"Well --" Nelson faltered.
"Either she did or she didn't, Mr Lucas," my attorney said.
"Well, she was drinking red wine," Nelson said. He flashed me a brave smile.
"How many glasses of red wine, exactly?"
"Three?" My attorney threw me a sharp, annoyed look.
"Yes. I bought her three glasses of red wine."
My attorney asked the judge for a moment to speak with me.
"You told me you only had two glasses!" he hissed at me quietly.
"I did! He bought me three, but I only drank two of them!"
He grumbled and resumed his cross-examination.
"Very well Mr Lucas. Three glasses of red wine. But she didn't look to you like she was in any way affected by the wine?"
"Well, um, you see --"
"Just answer the question please, Mr Lucas," my attorney leaned against the witness box and gave the gallery a confident smile.
"She told me she had too much to drink," Nelson mumbled.
My attorney's expression of confidence collapsed.
"That will be all, Mr Lucas," my attorney said, immediately trying to end his cross-examination.
The judge wanted to hear him explain and of course Nelson, clearly under duress, told the judge how I had admitted to him that I thought I had too much to drink.
But the most damning evidence of all was my own admission of guilt which had been video taped by the arresting officers. The tape of my confession was played for all to see, and that was that. The judge didn't hesitate at all when he finally announced, "Guilty!"