Trial begins for man accused of raping 18-year-old flight attendant

- The trial begins for a man charged with raping a flight attendant at a hotel near Detroit Metro Airport in Romulus.

Dwuan Parkman was in court and on trial accused of sexually assaulting the 18-year-old woman in her room at the Days Inn near the airport back last June.

"At some point after she's dead asleep she wakes up to realize that a man she doesn't know is on top of her," said Kavita Uppal, assistant Wayne County Prosecutor.

Prosecutors say Parkman first spotted the victim at the Wheat and Rye Restaurant where she was having beers with the pilots from her flight. Police say a taxi dropped the flight attendant and the pilots off at their hotel.

The suspect allegedly followed them there; the restaurant manager says it was captured on surveillance video.

"The brake lights are on for about three seconds," said Eric Benadara. "He pulls forward turns his lights off and backs under a marquee, waits for the cab to hit the road, you see him turn his lights on and follow the cab."

The manager testified he didn't want to believe it. Parkman was a regular at his restaurant.

"Just out of curiosity because I like Dwuan and I went back and watched it because I thought it was bs," Benadara said. "I called Detective Harkins and the other one back and I said can you guys take another look at this tape."

Damaging testimony - coupled with surveillance video from the hotel, security cameras showed him loitering in the lobby - even stealing a key.

When that key didn't work, prosecutors say Parkman broke into the victim's room and raped her.

"She essentially froze and started crying," Uppal said. "She said 'Please leave.'"

Prosecutors say she called her mom, her boyfriend and made her way to the front desk to report the crime.

The pilot described seeing her the next morning.

Prosecutor: "How did she appear to you at that time?"

"Very emotional, crying, distraught," said Devin Pull.

The victim herself testified Wednesday but recording of her testimony was not allowed. As for Parkman - his attorney says his client didn't do it and has cooperated with the investigation.

"Mr. Parkman saw his name in the paper, his face on television, and they didn't have to go looking for him," said Parkman's attorney Wright Blake. "Mr. Parkman with his lawyer turned himself in to the Romulus Police Department and cooperated with the investigation."

The trial resumes on Thursday.


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