Woman Accused Of Lying Under Oath Testifies Against Columbus Attorney
A woman who admits she lied under oath was the final prosecution witness in the rape case against attorney Javier Armengau.
Armengau is charged with sexually assaulting five different women- clients, the mothers of clients, and a former employee.
Tuesday jurors heard from another client who claims a sexual relationship with him. She admitted previously testifying under oath that nothing had happened between them.
Tuesday she had to explain why her previous testimony was a lie, but this version was the truth.
The prosecution's closing witness was a 26-year-old woman who hired Javier Armengau to represent her ex-boyfriend, Beau Stephenson, who was charged with murder in February of 2013. She also hired Armengau to defend her on drug charges.
She is not one of the five women accusing him of sexual assault.
She testified that while meeting with Armengau at his office to discuss her boyfriend's defense, Armengau "slapped me on my (backside)". She testified she told Stephenson this in a phone call from jail.
After Armengau was removed from Stephenson's case and her case was resolved, she testified that she and Armengau began a consensual sexual relationship.
She said they continued having sex until about three weeks ago.
Early this year, she was called to testify before a Grand Jury in Armengau's criminal case.
She says while he didn't instruct her how to testify before the Grand Jury, he was upset with her for telling her boyfriend about the slap on a recorded call from jail.
"Why would you say that knowing they're listening?" she said he asked.
"I felt bad. He made me feel bad," she testified Tuesday. "I felt guilty and I had to tell them it was a lie not to get him in trouble."
To - in her words - "fix it," she said she lied to the Grand Jury, telling them nothing had happened between her and Armengau.
She told the Grand Jury she made up the slapping story to make her boyfriend jealous.
She admitted to texting with Armengau before testifying to the Grand Jury and speaking with him after.
On cross examination, Armengau's attorney picked apart her conflicting stories, pointing out she had made a deal that she wouldn't be charged with perjury in exchange for her testimony against Armengau.
"Is it fair to say that you were intimidated by the way (prosecutors) were questioning you?" asked defense attorney Jennifer Coriell.
"Yes" the woman replied.
"They said if you didn't tell them that you had sex with Mr. Armengau, that they would find out that you did and charge you with perjury," said Coriell.
The woman answered, "Yes".
The defense also played a recording of conversation between Armengau and the witness, where he asked her why prosecutors believed they'd had an inappropriate relationship.
Unaware she was being recorded, she answered that she had no idea - and repeated that they were friends and nothing more.
The defense is expected to begin its case Wednesday.
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