McDonough Can Testify in Sudbury Sexual Assault Case

A Sudbury nursing home resident who said she was sexually assaulted by an employee of the home more than a year ago will be allowed to testify at his trial, a judge has ruled, as reported by the Metrowest Daily News.

Ruby McDonough will be allowed to testify against Kofi Agana in his Framingham District Court trial on Jan. 12, 2011 Judge Robert Greco said. McDonough has been diagnosed with expressive aphasia, a condition that makes it difficult for her to communicate verbally or through writing.

McDonough had previously been ruled incompetent to testify by a Framingham District Court judge, but the state Supreme Judicial Court made a ruling that the judge erred by not allowing her to have an aide assist in her testimony.

McDonough, through her lawyer Wendy Murphy, was seeking to have that incompetence ruling overturned. Greco did not specifically overturn the ruling because he said the ruling did not make a judgement about her mental capacity. He said it was a ruling on her ability to testify.

After the ruling, a visibly happy McDonough gave a thumbs up to Murphy.

“The fact that she’s being allowed to testify is the same as saying she is competent,” said Murphy to the Daily News. “She’s so happy.”

Greco said McDonough will be able to testify with some accommodations, such as yes or no questions and being allowed to take a longer time than usual to answer questions. However, he did not rule how much an expert will be allowed to assist in the testimony.

Agana’s lawyer, Robert Canty, said he expects that to be addressed in the final pretrial motions decided on the day of the trial.

Agana, 49, was arrested in February, 2009, and charged with indecent assault and battery on a person older than 14. He is in federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody because an immigration judge ordered that he be deported to Ghana.

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