by Ariel Cheung
The final day of the prosecutors’ case against David Dudas was difficult for jurors, some of whom got sick while watching graphic videos of him and his wife having sex.
Prosecutors say those videos — showing, among other things, choking, vomiting and violent sex — help prove he repeatedly battered and sexually assaulted his wife. Dudas’ attorneys say that although the couple’s relationship was “extreme,” the sex was consensual.
Police arrested Dudas, 49, after a July 21 incident and 26 charges of 31 total charges were filed arising from incidents shown in the videos.
Beginning Thursday night and continuing into Friday, jurors watched about two hours of 17 videos police said Dudas filmed between March 2012 and July 2013 at the couple’s home in Dale. Prosecutors opted to show parts of six videos.
Judge Tammy Jo Hock ordered that only she, jurors, attorneys and Dudas be able to see the videos in the courtroom, while members of the public, including news media, be limited to hearing audio from the recordings.
Dudas’ attorneys argued that all of the videos should be played so jurors might see portions supporting his side of the case. Hock allowed the defense to show a portion where they said Dudas’ wife was taking the lead and was more actively participating in the sexual activity.
In several videos, Dudas’ wife is heard complaining of pain in an injured shoulder, which she previously testified about. She told the court earlier this week that when she complained of pain, Dudas would ignore her or inflict greater pain by pressing on the shoulder to “teach her a lesson.”
Twice, jurors were allowed to take a break from watching the videos. The majority of the 16 jurors did not appear severely affected. One of the female jurors cried and two men became nauseous, including one who requested a waste basket. Other jurors grimaced or closed their eyes.?
At the beginning of the last video played, Dudas and his wife are heard arguing about finances, and he expresses frustration with her for not providing their records to him.
“Where are our financials? Why do I have to wait a few years to get them?” he says. “ I can’t even look at what I have because of you. Why do you do this to me?”
In the video, his wife apologizes. They then engage in sexual activities, but the wife is heard complaining of pain in her shoulder and asking for a pillow. Dudas tells her the shoulder isn’t sensitive to the touch and tells her to put her arm down.
The state’s two final witnesses were Outagamie County Sgt. Michael Fitzpatrick, the lead investigator, and Jane Graham Jennings, executive director of a domestic violence shelter and a sexual assault agency that offers counseling and emergency shelter for victims of abuse. ...