Woman tells jury of being raped in Friendship in 1989
A Penn Hills man waited until a woman turned off the lights in her Friendship apartment and fell asleep before he broke in, tied her hands, taped her eyes shut and raped her, she told an Allegheny County jury on Tuesday, nearly 25 years after the attack.
“When it stopped, I was very frightened,” the woman, 58, told jurors. “Now that he appeared to be finished, I thought he was going to kill me.”
Police charged Michael Lipinski, 43, with raping the woman on the night of March 17, 1989, and into the morning hours. Lipinski is serving 90 to 180 years in prison for raping three girls, ages 17, 3 and 9, in 1998, 2002 and 2005, respectively. Former Deputy District Attorney Laura Ditka once called him “the boogeyman.”
The Tribune-Review does not identify victims of sexual abuse.
“What happened in this case is terrible,” said Richard Narvin, Lipinski's defense attorney. But, he argued, the woman made no visual identification.
He told jurors they cannot use “the severity of the action as reason to convict.”
Through tears, the woman said that on the night of the attack, she was reading and fell asleep. She awoke to find a man standing beside her bed and began to scream but stopped when he told her he had a knife and would kill her. He tied her hands, put duct tape over her eyes, cut her nightgown and raped her. She said he rummaged through dresser drawers looking for jewelry.
When she asked if he was going to kill her, he replied: “No, you were a good girl,” she said.
The man left, and she called police from a neighbor's apartment. She went to Magee-Womens Hospital for treatment.
Pittsburgh police Detective Aprill-Noelle Campbell said she came across the woman's case file while looking through unsolved crimes last year. She called the Medical Examiner's Office and requested DNA tests of tissue swabs investigators took from the woman. Campbell said the DNA found on the victim matched Lipinski's.
Police filed charges in November.
Assistant District Attorney Kevin Chernosky plans to call a DNA expert to testify on Wednesday. Chernosky opened his statements by writing a number on a green chalkboard: 740, followed by 18 zeroes.
“That number represents a lot of things,” he said. “That's more people than have ever walked the face of the Earth. It's also the chances of randomly selecting the defendant's DNA.”
Adam Brandolph is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach him at 412-391-0927 or firstname.lastname@example.org.