By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
(Lucy also told police, prosecutors and the jury that Park had also fingered her vagina and fondled her breasts before he ejaculated on her.)
"I was confused," she told the Laguna Beach dispatcher. "He called me afterwards. I'm scared, you know . . . What's an Irvine cop doing hanging out at a strip club in Lake Forest?"
Telephone records prove that Park made a 19-minute call to Lucy shortly after their encounter. The officer—who told the woman he was "Joe Stephens," an Orange County Sheriff's Department deputy who had died months earlier—said it was a friendly call to make sure she'd arrived home safely. The stripper said he told her to keep her mouth shut.
And then Kamiabipour introduced the bombshell evidence from a high-ranking Irvine police officer: on the night Park tailed Lucy out of the city, the global positioning system in his patrol car had been disconnected without authorization.
"I checked and [the GPS] was not working," said Lt. Henry Boggs.
An unexplainable coincidence, Park's defense countered.
* * *
For all his boneheaded mistakes, Park madea sharp decision picking his legal counsel. Stokke (and John Barnett, Paul Myer and Jennifer Keller) is among the elite of the local defense bar. His fine suits and mastery of courtroom procedures compliment the folksy, grandfatherly style he uses to charm juries. And there was this unspoken advantage over the prosecution: longtime courthouse observers have no memory of an Orange County jury convicting a police officer of a felony.
It wasn't a surprise that Stokke put the woman and her part-time occupation on trial. In his opening argument, he made it The Good Cop versus The Slutty Stripper. He pointed out that she'd once had a violent fight with a boyfriend in San Diego. He mocked her inability to keep a driver's license. He accused her of purposefully "weakening" Park so that he became "a man," not a cop during the traffic stop. He called her a liar angling for easy lawsuit cash. He called her a whore without saying the word.
"You dance around a pole, don't you?" Stokke asked.
Superior Court Judge William Evans ruled the question irrelevant.
Stokke saw he was scoring points with the jury.
"Do you place a pole between your legs and go up and down?" he asked.
"No," said Lucy before the judge interrupted.
"You do the dancing to get men to do what you what them to do," said Stokke. "And the same thing happened out there on that highway [in Laguna Beach]. You wanted [Park] to take some sex!"
Lucy said, "No sir," the sex wasn't consensual. Stokke—usually a mellow fellow with a nasally, monotone voice—gripped his fists, stood upright, clenched his jaws and then thundered, "You had a buzz on [that night], didn't you?"
As if watching a volley in tennis, the heads of the male-dominated jury spun from Stokke back to Lucy, who sat in the witness box. She said no, but it was hopeless. Jurors stared at her without a hint of sympathy.
In his closing argument, Stokke pounced. He called Lucy one of those "girls who have learned the art of the tease, getting what they want . . . they've learned to separate men from their money."
Kamiabipour wasn't amused. "Dancer or not, sexually promiscuous nor not, she had the right not to consent," she told jurors. "[Park] doesn't get a freebie just because of who she is . . . He used her like an object."