A Montgomery County detective, while testifying yesterday in the death-penalty murder trial of Mark Patrick O'Donnell, rummaged through a box of pornographic movies, aphrodisiacs and exotic sex toys that belonged to the victim's mother.
Prosecutors have portrayed O'Donnell, 48, of Plymouth Township, as a crackhead sex fiend who was viewing Internet porn on Dec. 7 minutes before raping and strangling Ebony Dorsey, the 14-year-old daughter of his girlfriend, Danielle Cattie.
But in an attempt to attack Cattie's credibility, defense attorney Thomas Egan III yesterday asked Detective J. Michael Santarelli to display every sex-related item police found in her bedroom.
"We're trying to show that Cattie was the sex addict," Egan said outside the courtroom.
First, Assistant District Attorney Kevin Steele walked to the back of the room and asked a group of teenage girls to leave – "It's probably not a good idea to be in here" - as Santarelli slid on a pair of rubber gloves and got to work.
Judge William J. Furber, who is presiding over the nonjury trial, nodded stoically as the detective displayed a vibrator, purple anal beads, a bottle of "pleasure-enhancing lubricant," a videotape titled "Big Bad Biker Bitches" and a mysterious sex device with wires coming out of it.
"Whatever this device is," Santarelli said from the witness stand, holding up what appeared to be a black tassel whip.
O'Donnell looked relaxed yesterday in a dark gray suit with no tie, smiling as he chatted with friends and relatives during a break in the proceedings.
Police say he killed Dorsey and stuffed her body in a 20-gallon plastic storage bin last December after a night of smoking crack cocaine with Cattie, 34, of Whitpain Township.
Egan said O'Donnell has confessed to killing the Wissahickon High School honors student, but he denies raping her and claims that the act was not premeditated. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.