Porter places Andersen at the crime scene

Andrew Tellijohn

Ending weeks of speculation, one of four men charged in a rape and burglary incident near campus last October took the stand Wednesday — and he testified against Puiassance Andersen.
Victor Porter pleaded guilty in late February to one count of burglary in connection with the incident. Andersen, his brother Giezwa and Antonio Burton are all accused of participating in the burglary of the apartment near Dinkytown, during which two of the three women in the appartment were raped.
Andersen faces 11 counts of aiding and abetting burglary, robbery and sexual assault.
Porter, speaking barely above a whisper and occasionally in nothing more than mumbles, said the four were together all night long. He said they went to a bar, then called a cab that took them to the southeast Minneapolis neighborhood.
“I didn’t have the slightest idea where I was at,” Porter said.
After the cab stopped, the men ran off without paying and walked awhile until they saw bicycles on the balcony of the women’s apartment.
Contrary to the defense claim that Andersen wasn’t at the scene of the crime, Porter testified he was not only present, but was the first one on the balcony. Porter said Andersen tried the door on the balcony and when it opened, he entered, followed by Burton and Giezwa Andersen. Porter said he took guard duty and added that he never entered the apartment until Giezwa Andersen asked him for assistance in carrying items out of the building.
Porter said even then he was in the building only long enough to grab a compact disc player and shuffle through some bank records.
“That was the only thing I got that was worth anything really,” he said.
Throughout his testimony, he maintained his statement that throughout the incident he had little or no knowledge of what was going to happen, including the sexual assault.
“The part about the sexual assault, that’s not my M-O,” he said during cross examination. “That’s not what I’m all about.”
When defense attorney Paul Schneck asked if committing a burglary was acceptable, Porter replied, “I wouldn’t say breaking into a house is OK. That would have been far more better than what we’re in court for today.”
Schneck attacked the reliability of Porter’s testimony during cross examination. He questioned Porter’s motives, and several times got Porter to admit he had lied several times throughout the police investigation of the crimes.
Porter admitted giving police a false name when first confronted at the apartment of Rachel Kemptner three days after the incident. He also told Minneapolis Police Sgt. Cari Gerlicher he knew nothing about the incident in his first statement to police. He maintained that stance until confronted with the knowledge that one of the other men involved in the incident had told police he was involved.
In addition, Schneck questioned Porter about when prosecuting attorney Steve Redding spoke to him about his potential testimony Tuesday night.
He didn’t finally tell Redding that the morning of the incident he slept at his father’s house instead of Kemptner’s until confronted with the knowledge that Redding knew he was lying. Porter said he lied to Redding so he wouldn’t implicate his father.
Schneck also accused Porter of testifying to exactly what the prosecution wanted. Schneck theorized that Porter knew what the prosecutors wanted to hear and said it so he would fulfill his plea bargain.
As a result of the plea agreement, Porter will face only one year in the Hennepin County Workhouse if he testifies honestly, as defined by Henn. Co. prosecutors, against the other men involved in the case.
“Instead of going to prison for 30 years, you get one year in the workhouse,” Schneck said.
Then Schneck asked him if he knew good time could have him on the street in eight months and Porter responded, “Anybody knows that.”
Porter, however, has more trouble than just this case. He has a hold on his probation for felony theft of a firearm less than two years ago. He also faces charges of criminal sexual conduct in Ramsey County.
Redding said he has two more witnesses to call and expects to rest his case sometime Thursday afternoon. Schneck has not yet decided if he will call anyone to the stand. Judge Mary Steenson told the jurors they should have the case by tonight.