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Emotional first day in Columbia kidnapping and sexual assault trial

Emotional first day in Columbia kidnapping and sexual assault trial

Boone County prosecutors have charged 26-year-old Xavier Blake Gee with 11 felonies, including kidnapping and four counts of sodomy or attempted sodomy (2022 photo courtesy of the Boone County Sheriff’s Department website)

A Boone County jury has heard graphic opening statements from prosecutors in the trial of a Columbia man charged with the separate robbery and sexual assaults of two sex workers. Prosecutors say the two incidents happened in December 2020 and in January 2021.

939 the Eagle was in the courtroom Monday afternoon for opening statements and for prosecution witnesses in in Xavier Blake Gee’s trial. The 26-year-old Gee is charged with 11 felonies, including four counts of sodomy or attempted sodomy.

Boone County assistant prosecutor Nick Komoroski tells the jury that Gee desperately needed money, and that Gee kidnapped one victim and forced her into her vehicle’s trunk before driving around. Much of the testimony was graphic.

Defense attorney Kevin O’Brien did not deliver an opening statement, but hammered away at the credibility of the first witness. Under cross-examination, the first victim admitted that she had used fentanyl around that time of the incident. But she emphasized to the jury that she had not used drugs that evening. The woman cried on the witness stand, testifying that Gee took at photo of her driver’s license that night, allegedly telling her that he would kill her and her family, if she told police what happened.

O’Brien says the witness didn’t tell CPD she was a sex worker when she called them after the December 2020 incident at Columbia’s Motel 6. She admitted that on the witness stand, saying she didn’t think she would be believed. But she says she told CPD detectives that she was a sex worker during the next interview. The discussion between Counselor O’Brien and the witness became heated at times, with Prosecutor Komoroski making several objections. Boone County Judge Jeff Harris had to step in at one point.

Day two of the trial is today (Tuesday). Judge Harris has reserved five days for the trial. The jury is composed of seven men and seven women. 12 are jurors and two are alternates.