The prosecution in George Leniart’s trial for the murder of April Pennington rested today, after the judge permitted one of Leniart’s prior rape victims to testify. Usually the jury isn’t allowed to hear about previous crimes a defendant committed, but the assault on this woman was very similar to the way the prosecution thinks he killed April, so an exception was made because it was a “common scheme.”
I think the victim’s testimony may clinch this case. Let us see the similarities:
1. April and this woman (let’s just call her Jane Doe) were close in age — April was 15, and Jane Doe was 13.
2. Both of them were small and thin.
3. In both cases, they were introduced to Leniart by Patrick “PJ” Allain, one of the major witnesses against Leniart and himself a nasty slimeball.
4. Allain was Jane Doe’s boyfriend, and he says he and April had a sexual relationship, though he claims they weren’t boyfriend and girlfriend.
5. April met up with Leniart and Allain on the night of her (alleged) murder. Jane Doe was supposed to meet Allain that night, but he never showed up so she hung around with Leniart, drinking beer with him, until she tried to leave and then he attacked her.
6. Jane Doe was choked during the rape. The prosecution say Leniart strangled April.
7. After the rape, Leniart threatened to kill Jane Doe if she ran away. The fact that she ran away anyway may have saved her life. No one has seen April since May 29, 1996.
Yeah. Sounds like a “common scheme” to me.
Leniart was awaiting trial for Jane Doe’s rape when April disappeared. He subsequently served a lousy four years in prison for the rape, and went on to sexually assault a teenage boy in 2007. He was still in prison for that when he was charged with April’s homicide.