A Montgomery County defense lawyer accused of raping an unconscious 22-year-old client told his trial judge Friday that he will take the witness stand in a bid to convince jurors he is innocent.
After prosecutors rested their case against him, Vincent A. Cirillo Jr. told Judge Steven T. O'Neill he wants to testify on his own behalf. That testimony will likely occur Monday in a Norristown courtroom.
The longtime defense lawyer, 57, is expected to insist that his sexual contact with the client at a West Norriton home in August 2015 was consensual. But his decision to take the stand will give prosecutors an opportunity to grill him on conflicting statements he made after the alleged rape.
No one disputes that the sexual contact occurred. But prosecutors have maintained since the trial began Tuesday that the woman could not consent because she was only "semiconscious."
In a conversation recorded by detectives after the alleged assault, Cirillo told the woman that they had sex that night. But he later told detectives that he only performed oral sex on her -- and that she consented to it.
Detectives asked Cirillo if he thought he would be in trouble for what happened, Lt. Christopher Kuklentz told jurors Friday.
"He said that he could be, because of her condition," the officer testified.
Earlier this week, jurors heard testimony from the alleged victim, her boyfriend at the time, and her father. The woman had hired Cirillo to represent her in custody matters and a criminal case. The alleged assault occurred after the defense lawyer came to her father's home to discuss her cases, and stayed to drink and socialize.Jurors saw photographs this week that Cirillo took of the woman during the alleged assault, and photographs that her boyfriend took after he found her unconscious and naked later that night.
Cirillo told detectives that he believed the woman wanted to have sexual contact with him because "she told me three separate times, 'You are going upstairs with me,'" according to a statement he gave police that was read aloud in court Friday.
Defense lawyers opened their case Friday afternoon with character witnesses. Sandy Depasquali testified that she knew Cirillo for 11 years and that he is "a good, good person."
Cirillo, the son of a late Superior Court judge, previously pleaded guilty to rape in the case, but withdrew the plea when he was scheduled to be sentenced in December.