Accused man acted as own attorney, questioned victims
A 50-year-old accused serial rapist, who insisted this week on representing himself at trial, was convicted late Wednesday for a two-decade-old crime that will send him to prison for the rest of his life.
Tommy Scott personally questioned two women he is accused of terrorizing and raping at knifepoint.
“You were in my house and raped me multiple times,” one said to him, then collapsed in sobs as the jury watched.
During his stint as his own attorney, Scott asked meandering and often impenetrable questions in an attempt to prove that he is not a serial rapist.
Rather, he claimed to be the victim of a vast conspiracy that involves planted DNA evidence, lying victims and detectives determined to frame him for the crimes, which happened a decade apart from one another.
The jury didn’t buy it.
It found him guilty of aggravated rape and aggravated burglary after a three-day trial.
The rape conviction carries an automatic sentence of life in prison. The burglary could tack another three decades on top of that. Orleans Parish Criminal District Court Judge Robin Pittman will sentence him at a hearing next month.
Scott was tried this week for only one rape.
On June 11, 1992, he broke into an Uptown house as a mother slept. Her 15-year-old son was in his bedroom down the hall.
The rapist put a pillow over her face and a knife to her throat. He told her he would kill both her and her son if she didn’t comply with his orders.
He cut her hand, down to the bone, put a pillowcase over her head and raped her.
Police wouldn’t catch up with him for that rape for over a decade.
Months later, he broke into another house. But this time a man slept inside, with a shotgun next to his bed.
He saw Scott peep into his bedroom, picked up the gun and fired, blowing Scott’s finger off.
Scott was convicted of burglary and spent several years in prison.
But it would take another rape before police connected him to the 1992 attack.
In November 2003, a Mid-City woman also awoke to discover a man inside her home, wielding a foot-long kitchen knife.
Scott, still on parole from the burglary conviction, allegedly put the knife to her throat and told her he would kill her if she didn’t comply.
He raped her repeatedly over several hours, she told the jury this week.
She eventually ran screaming to a neighbor’s house. Police found Scott sleeping in her bed, still clutching the knife.
He was tried on a charge of aggravated rape, but two juries couldn’t agree on his guilt.
Both trials ended in mistrials, and he eventually pleaded guilty to a lesser burglary charge.
But his DNA, meanwhile, caught up with him.
A DNA sample taken after the 2003 alleged rape was put into a national database of unsolved crimes.
Police were alerted that they’d received a match: Tommy Scott’s DNA was the same as a sample taken from the 1992 rape.
He was tried this week by prosecutors Brittany Reed and Iain Dover for that attack.
Scott, who was for two years considered incompetent to stand trial and was sent to a mental hospital for rehabilitation, opted to represent himself after firing a series of attorneys.
It is unclear whether he plans to appeal his conviction.