On the fifth day of the sexual assault trial of Charles McGee and Aubre Dickson, the prosecution called Detective Kristina Coffey of the Portland Police Bureau to the stand.
Coffey described the unusual circumstances that led to her being assigned as the lead detective into allegations made by Erica Naito-Campbell, 38, against McGee, 33, the founder and former CEO of the Black Parent Initiative and Dickson, 44, a banker and chairman of the state Housing Stability Council.
Coffey testified that in her 19 years with the police bureau, she couldn't recall another case that resulted from a media report. (WW published a story based on Naito-Campbell's account of her alleged May 10, 2012 assault on Feb. 7, 2018.)
Coffee testified that she met Naito-Campbell for an interview on Feb. 12, 2018.
Naito-Campbell presented the detective with a binder that included phone records showing calls and texts with Dickson; her call to a rape crisis hotline shortly after the alleged incident; and, printouts of emails in which Dickson appeared to apologize to her after the alleged incident. She also included a copy of a 2015 letter she sent to Dickson in which she recounted the alleged assault by both men and urged Dickson to advise McGee not to run for office, which McGee had been publicly discussing.
Two months later, Coffey got an unusual opportunity: McGee and his then-attorney, Edie Rogoway, requested an interview with her.
At trial, prosecutors played a video clip from that interview Coffey had with McGee and Rogoway, in which McGee discusses an interview he had with WW in in early 2018.
In his interview with the newspaper, McGee vigorously denied every aspect of Naito-Campbell's story. In the interview with the police detective, both McGee and Rogoway conceded that he had lied to WW.
"[McGee] announces his candidacy Jan. 10," Rogoway says on the tape. "[Reporter] Nigel Jaquiss started making calls. [McGee] lied to Nigel Jaquiss. [McGee] was desperate for his wife not to find out that this night happened. He lied to [Jaquiss'] face.
"You admit that you lied?" Coffey asked McGee on the video tape.
"Yeah," McGee said.
Christine Mascal, who is now McGee's attorney, attempted to chip away at Coffey's investigation, which led to an indictment of both men on May 8, 2018.
Mascal asked the detective why she hadn't attempted to trace the exact strip club Naito-Campbell, McGee and Dickson visited on the night of May 10, 2012, before the alleged assault occurred.
"Did you go out to the strip club?" Mascal asked. "Did you track down the owners?"
"No," Coffey testified. "The crime took place somewhere else."
Then Stephen Houze, Dickson's attorney, took a crack at Coffey. He tried painting her as a tool of powerful interests, namely of Naito-Campbell's mother, Anne Naito-Campbell.
Houze said Anne Naito-Campbell met with Coffey's ultimate boss, Police Chief Danielle Outlaw, on Feb. 8, 2018, the day after WW's original story ran.
Did Coffey know about that meeting?
"No," Coffey testified.
"Did you speak to Outlaw about this case?"
"No," Coffey testified.
The trial continues at 9 am Wednesday.