Samuel Kase White’s defense attorney insisted in closing arguments Monday that the legally embattled former CSU employee – who the prosecution called the “Casanova of Fort Collins” – is innocent in a case in which he is charged with multiple counts of sexual assault and burglary.
White sat passively as prosecutor Michelle Brinegar painted a disturbing picture of a man who would allegedly break into women’s homes, plan an exit strategy, take advantage of them while they slept and stop as soon as he was confronted.
“The defendant is a predator,” Brinegar said, later demanding that the jury “find him guilty.”
Brinegar proceeded step-by-step, count-by-count through each of the 13 charges — including six counts of sexual assault, four counts of burglary, one count of harassment, one count of unlawful sexual contact and one count of trespassing — breaking down for the jury each aspect of the crimes of which White is accused.
“You now have all the evidence you need to find the defendant guilty,” Brinegar said in her closing argument, citing DNA, shoe prints, fingerprints and photo lineups as alleged proof of White’s guilt.
Public defender Norm Townsend spent his closing argument accusing the prosecution of appealing to the jury’s prejudice and sympathy, insisting that lead investigation detectives ignored evidence in order to pursue White.
“Don’t succumb (to the prosecutions’ accounts),” Townsend urged. “They want to overwhelm you.”
“He is not the monster theywant you to believe,” Townsend said about White.
Townsend, who said the alleged victims engaged in consensual sexual encounters with White, recounted the testimony of each witness and victim, calling some accounts “absolutely preposterous” and calling each woman’s story into question.
In her closing argument, prosecutor Emily Humphrey, who called White the “Casanova of Fort Collins,” said he “needs to be held accountable” and urged the jury to “seek the truth and find justice” for the eight alleged victims.
“He watches; he waits; he selects the one he wants; he makes his move,” Humphrey said.
The jury will deliberate over each of the 13 counts until they deliver a verdict, which is not expected until this afternoon.
White was a human resources worker for CSU and was arrested in Dec. 2007.
Crime beat reporter Stephen Lin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.