ER - Jane Doe “felt coerced” into making statements

What a mess.

Testimony during David Gundersen’s preliminary hearing Wednesday revealed a different view on evidence that led to his arrest for spousal rape.

“Jane Doe 1” testified that she “felt coerced” by officials working in the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office into making a statement about non-consensual sex with Gundersen.

Testimony of “Jane Doe 2” concluded Wednesday and the issue of immunity agreements came before the court again when Judge John T. Feeney granted Doe 1 immunity.

Gundersen, currently the police chief for the Blue Lake Police Department, may face trial on suspicion of 19 charges, including 12 counts of spousal rape with an intoxicant, one count of kidnapping to commit another crime and possession of a machine gun.

The city of Blue Lake has announced it will terminate its contract with Gundersen on May 5.

Gundersen is being held at the Humboldt County jail with a $1.25 million bail.

At the end of Tuesday’s session, Humboldt County District Attorney Paul Gallegos questioned Doe 1 about nude photographs found on Gundersen’s computer hard drive taken without her consent while sleeping.

During examination, Doe 1 testified that Gundersen had non-consensual sex with her around once a month between 2005 and 2007.

She suspected that Gundersen had sex with her after she went to sleep, because she would wake up without her clothes on and would find semen in her genital area.

She testified that she used a light sleeping aid, Lunesta, to help fall asleep. She said she used it in the presence of her husband and would sometimes partially wake up to him having sex with her.

“I’d just be waiting for him to finish,” she said.

Before Gundersen’s arrest, she contacted HCSO because the two were having difficulties and she wanted to discuss a “proper police response” if something happened.

Jane 1 testified that she never filled out a report with the HCSO about the non-consensual sex, and felt “lured” by the HSCO to talk about it.

She said it was never her intention to have Gundersen prosecuted and the only reason she is testifying is because she is under subpoena by the District Attorney’s Office.

The meeting turned into a seven-hour interview with three officials from HCSO, she said, including Lt. Dave Morey, where Doe 1 testified they wanted to talk about the non-consensual sex, and that she felt coerced to do so.

Doe 1 also brought up Margaret Gundersen, David Gundersen’s former wife, who also works at the HCSO.

She felt Margaret Gundersen orchestrated the interview because of a custody battle she was engaged in with David Gundersen, and wanted the interview to end.

“I wasn’t comfortable,” Doe 1 said. “I wasn’t OK with it.”

Prior to their marital problems, Doe 1 testified that she allowed Gundersen to have sex with her if she was sleeping because an irregular work schedule caused difficulty in their sex life.

On the topic of photographs, Gundersen did take photos of her semi-nude but never completely nude, she testified. There were also videos of them engaging in sexual acts, but nothing graphic.

Asked if she confronted Gundersen about both the photographs and non-consensual sex, Doe 1 testified that he said “you’re my wife.” She also told him that the sex constituted rape.

Not long into Doe 1’s testimony, Gallegos asked her about firearms found in their home. After Doe 1 said she would plead the Fifth Amendment if asked about the firearms, Gallegos offered her immunity.

Gundersen’s attorney, Russell Clanton, objected to the use of immunity agreements during Tuesday’s session, and voiced similar concerns Wednesday.

An immunity agreement compels a witness to testify against other statements and not fear prosecution, he said.

Gallegos said immunity adds honesty since that fear of prosecution isn’t there.

“I believe the contrary,” Clanton replied.

Despite Clanton offering a case to argue his point, Judge Feeney said there was no evidence at this time to show that the witness is being compelled to testify a certain way.

Jane Doe 2 also finished her testimony, most of which revolved around her mental health prior to the alleged rape.

Doe 2 testified that her memory is “pretty much wiped” because of medication she took for post traumatic stress disorder following the alleged rape.

Prior to those events, she testified that she was admitted to the Sempervirens Psychiatric Health Facility in Eureka.

She added that she possibly may have been diagnosed with PTSD from a past relationship, but would have to look at records.

Gundersen’s hearing continues today.

(For more coverage of David Gundersen’s hearing, along with more detailed testimony from witnesses, go to http://eurekareporter.com/article/080422-gundersens-hearing.)

Jane Doe “felt coerced” into making statements
By JOHN C. OSBORN , The Eureka Reporter
Published: Apr 23 2008, 11:16 PM · Updated: Apr 24 2008, 12:08 AM

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