Lesbian rape trial begins in Georgia

Opening statements began Tuesday for a former Gwinnett County, Ga., deputy accused of raping an Athens woman because she is a lesbian. Derrick McGriff, 25, is accused of forcing a 21-year-old Athens woman into her apartment at gunpoint and then raping her after making derogatory statements about her sexual orientation. McGriff was originally suspended from duty, but he later resigned. He is charged with rape, false imprisonment, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, aggravated assault with intent to rape, and violating his oath of office. His attorneys say the woman made up the story to conceal from her partner that she had consensual sex with a man. The woman was arrested in December on charges of stalking her former lover while possessing a handgun. Police say the woman told them after being arrested that she planned to commit suicide in front of her former lover, who had ended their relationship a week earlier. Prosecutors said in October that if McGriff is convicted, they will seek extra jail time under the state's hate-crimes statute.

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