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Convictions upheld in Conn. rape, kidnap case

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Associated Press / September 5, 2008
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HARTFORD - Connecticut's Supreme Court upheld the convictions of two men yesterday for the abduction, gang rape, and severe beating of a woman they left for dead in Woodbridge nearly five years ago.

The high court issued separate, unanimous rulings that rejected the appeals of Clifton Foreman and Alazaron Sargeant, who are both serving 85-year prison sentences for sexual assault, kidnapping, and other crimes.

The two men, both 22, were convicted in 2005 of kidnapping a University of New Haven student at gunpoint in West Haven, putting her in the trunk of her car, and sexually assaulting her in a secluded spot in Woodbridge on Sept. 26, 2003. Two other teens were arrested for taking part in the attack, which the woman, then 27, survived.

After the gang rape, Sargeant tried to snap the woman's neck, and Foreman repeatedly hit her on her the head with a rock, according to court testimony.

She pretended to be dead, then managed to make her way to a house to get help after the suspects left.

Authorities said the woman called police with her cellphone while she was in the car trunk, but officers couldn't find her.

Foreman argued in his appeal that a lower court acted improperly by denying his motion to suppress certain DNA evidence, granting the state's request to compel him to provide a second DNA sample and admitting computer-generated fingerprint and DNA evidence.

Sargeant claimed in his appeal that the trial court improperly denied his motion to throw out three of four first-degree sexual assault counts against him, saying the evidence was insufficient.

Justices said both men's allegations were without merit.

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