The trial for a Waterloo, Iowa, man accused of sexually assaulting a Dubuque woman began on Wednesday.

Opening statements and first witnesses were called for the trial of Patrick H. Booker, 47, who is charged with first-degree kidnapping and third-degree sexual abuse-forcible rape.

If convicted of the first-degree kidnapping charge, Booker would serve a mandatory life sentence in prison without the possibility of parole.

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Witnesses testifying Wednesday included the woman accusing Booker and medical professionals who treated her. The Telegraph Herald does not identify victims of alleged sexual assault.

The trial was the first to take place in the Dubuque County Courthouse in months because of COVID-19. To allow for social distancing, jurors were not seated in the jury box but were spread out throughout the courtroom in spectator seating. Everyone in the courtroom wore masks and those who spoke used a microphone.

The charges stem from an incident that occurred on April 14, 2018. Booker and two other men were invited to the home of the woman to attend a “tattoo party.” In his opening statement, assistant county attorney Richard Kirkendall said the woman had originally intended to have sex with Booker and one of his friends. However, at midnight, Booker allegedly ordered her to have sex with the third person as well, who was also identified as a friend of Booker’s.

Kirkendall said the woman, whose clothes were removed, then left the room and entered the kitchen. There, Booker slammed her head into a wall. Booker then allegedly opened a window in the kitchen when outside temperatures were about 32 degrees and forced her to wait in the kitchen for several hours. Anytime she tried to leave the kitchen, Booker allegedly struck her again.

“For hours, she was standing naked in that kitchen,” Kirkendall said. “She shivered and she pled with him, ‘don’t make me stand here.’ Every time she did that, he slammed her head against the wall.”

Hours later at about 5:30 a.m., Booker allowed the woman to return to her room, Kirkendall said. She lay face down on the bed, and Booker allegedly proceeded to sexually assault her.

In a brief opening statement, Theresa Sampson Brown, defense attorney for Booker, stated that Booker was caught in a bad situation.

“This was a web that Mr. Booker got tangled up in,” Brown said, later adding. “We ask you to keep an open mind until all the evidence comes in.”

When called to testify, the woman stated she had known Booker before and had organized for him and some of his friends to drive to her home for a “tattoo party,” where attendees could receive tattoos or piercings.

The woman said she agreed ahead of the party to have sex with Booker and one of his friends. At midnight during the party, though, she said she was ordered by Booker to have sex with the third friend as well.

“I said that I felt uncomfortable,” she said. “Patrick followed me.”

The woman repeated the story previously given by Kirkendall, where Booker struck her in the kitchen and forced her to remain there naked for hours while a window remained open. Every time she tried to leave or call for help, Booker struck her again, according to the testimony; the assault left her with lacerations to the head and lip.

“He was looking at me in a way that I’ll never forget,” she said. “I was scared and just stopped and stared in the corner.”

The woman said she was eventually allowed to return to her room and put some clothes on. After lying on the bed on her stomach, she said she was sexually assaulted by Booker.

The trial is scheduled to continue this morning.

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