ELIZABETH, NJ - Jurors in the trial of a man charged with killing Clark lawyer Joseph Galfy heard a recorded statement in which the accused man claimed he was drugged and sexually assaulted by the attorney.
"At first I thought he was really nice, then he raped me," Caleb McGillvary said of Galfy in statement to police that was recorded on video on May 16, 2013, hours after he was arrested in Philadelphia.
McGillvary, who became an internet sensation known as "Kai the Hatch-Wielding Hitchhiker," is charged with fatally beating 73-year-old attorney Galfy in his Clark home on May 12, 2013. McGillvary claims he acted in self-defense.
Originally from Canada, McGillvary had hitchhiked across the United States. He first drew attention in California, where he helped a man who was being attacked by hitting the assailant in the head with a hatchet. McGillvary later appeared on TV with Jimmy Kimmel, then gained fame from a huge following on social media, including Facebook.
In Superior Court in Elizabeth on Tuesday, jurors in the trial being held before Judge Robert Kirsch heard the video-taped statement in which McGillvary told of meeting Galfy in Times Square on Saturday, May 11, then accompanying the attorney back to his home.
In the statement, the defendant told Sgt. Johnny Ho of the Union County Prosecutor's Office that he had some food, drank several beers and watched TV before going to bed in Galfy's guest room, only to wake up the next morning with a metallic taste in his mouth and bodily fluids on the side of his mouth.
He said Galfy drove him to the Rahway train station and gave him money for a ticket, first to Asbury Park and then to Long Branch where McGillvary expected to meet a friend. He said Galfy gave his cellphone number to him and told him to call if he needed anything.
When the friend failed to show-up, McGillvary said, he called Galfy, who picked him up and drove back to Clark. That evening, Galfy cooked McGillvary hamburgers and gave him a few beers, after which, McGillvary said, he passed out.
"I woke up on the floor and he was pulling down my pants, and I just started hitting him," he said, referring to Galfy who was in his underwear. "He was trying to keep me down. He tried to manhandle me,' McGillvary said in the recorded statement. He said he blacked-out and couldn't remember anything else in the house. McGillvary subsequently left the house, went to a restaurant, found people who recognized him from the internet and got money from them to buy another train ticket back to Long Branch.
The statement ended when McGillvary asked for a lawyer. "I should probably be talking to a lawyer, shouldn't I," he said to police moments before saying he wanted an attorney.
Authorities say that when Galfy failed to appear for work on May 13, partners at his law firm called police who went to Galfy's home and found him dead on his bed, dressed in his underwear. Authorities said they found information about McGillvary on Galfy's cellphone, then found messages McGillvary left on his Facebook page claiming he was assaulted. They eventually obtained an arrest warrant, and police apprehended the suspect at the train station in Philadelphia.
Ho testified in court Tuesday about the statement. Under cross examination from McGillvary's attorney, John Cito, the sergeant said he never investigated McGillvary claims of sexual assault because there was no evidence beyond the defendant's statement.
Ho, in response to Cito's questions, said a rape kit was used in examining Galfy, but was not used to examine McGillvary because too much time had passed between the alleged assault and his arrest. Ho also admitted he had not recommended lab tests on items in Galfy's house that might have supported McGillvary's claims of assault.
In follow-up questioning from Union County Assistant Prosecutor Scott Peterson, Ho said lab experts were responsible for deciding what items should be tested, and that a defense attorney could have also requested tests on items in the house.
In other testimony Tuesday, Dr. Sandy Wang, a cardiologist, said he and his partner had treated Galfy since 1988 until April 2013. Wang listed more than eight medications and vitamins that Galfy took, including prescription drugs for heart and blood pressure, as well as Cialis for erectile dysfunction. Wang said it was unlikely that the dosages of medications Galfy received could have caused him to pass-out.
Peterson rested the prosecution's case on Tuesday, and Cito is expected to present the defense on Wednesday.
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