US man ‘raped, scalded half-sister’

2011-04-13 11:33
New York - A man accused of raping and scalding his half-sister before their mother killed her last year made the mentally disabled woman "a tortured prisoner", a prosecutor said on Tuesday at the start of his trial.

Luke Wright, 32, is charged with physically assaulting and sexually abusing 23-year-old Laura Cummings.

Prosecutors say he severely burned her face with a pot of boiling water, scalded her buttocks in a bathtub, raped her and forcibly sodomised her with a broomstick.

He also faces counts of unlawful imprisonment for keeping her tied to a chair to prevent her from running away, and endangering the welfare of an incompetent person.

Last two months of tortured life

"He hated when Laura stared at him," Assistant District Attorney Kristin St Mary told an Erie County Court jury, describing the victim as "childlike".

"He would tell her to stare down at the floor, and when she looked up, he would put a hood over her head."

While authorities have said Laura Cummings endured years of abuse, the charges focus on the last two months of her life, when they said the abuse by Wright and their mother, Eva Cummings, escalated.

"Her brother, the defendant, made her a tortured prisoner," St Mary said.

Eva Cummings pleaded guilty in October to second-degree murder, admitting that she smothered her daughter with her bare hands in their home in rural North Collins, 30km south of Buffalo, in January 2010. She is serving up to life in prison.

Defence: Brother is mentally disabled

"Every day and night for the last two months of her life, Laura was bound and tied to a chair," said St Mary, relying heavily on what Wright told police after Cummings' death.

"Laura did not sleep in a bed. Laura did not have a bed."

Defence attorney John Nuchereno cautioned jurors against believing the 60 pages of statements that Wright gave investigators.

Wright was mentally disabled from birth and brain damaged from childhood beatings with baseball bats and bricks inside a "house of horrors" controlled by his mother, the attorney said.

"It was a home without a heart," Nuchereno said.

The trial is expected to last about a week. Wright faces up to life in prison if convicted.
- AP
Read more on:    us
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
27 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

LOL! Best outdoor girl fails

It’s not only guys who have FAIL moments! Here are some of the funniest outdoor fails where girls are the victims!

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

90-year-old's incredible travels
10 facts about swimming you didn't know
Snors with a cause - creating awareness of male health
Exciting new zipline for Cape Town!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

It's Flash Sale Friday – one day only!

Buy 3 & get the cheapest 1 FREE: On selected DVDs, Blu-rays, series and music. While stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2100 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

TV Series – 2 for R299

Loads of hot titles to choose from. Shop now!

Hot offer: Up to 50% off irons

Save up to 50% on all Philips irons. While stocks last. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be doing the work and playing the game, but your innovative mind is on a far away planet planning the next big thing....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.