|Jason D. Briddon|
By Gary V. Murray
WORCESTER — Jury selection got under way today in Worcester Superior Court for the retrial of a former police officer charged with raping and assaulting a woman five years ago after offering her a ride home from a bar.
Jason D. Briddon, 39, a former part-time Rutland police officer, has pleaded not guilty to charges of rape and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon in connection with the alleged May 1, 2007, sexual assault.
The alleged victim told authorities Mr. Briddon raped and assaulted her after offering her a ride home from Ralph's Chadwick Square Diner on Grove Street. She said she accepted Mr. Briddon's offer for a ride after she drank from a beer he had given her and began feeling sick and dizzy.
Instead of driving her directly home, she said, Mr. Briddon drove her to a building in the William Street area, carried her inside, threw her down on a box spring and raped her.
Mr. Briddon, of Westminster, denied the allegations.
The first trial ended in a mistrial on March 13, 2009, after a 12-member jury was unable to render a unanimous verdict in the case.
In February 2010, Mr. Briddon was convicted of unrelated charges of raping and beating a prostitute in Worcester in 2008 and was sentenced to 10 to 12 years' imprisonment. He is seeking a new trial on grounds that his family was excluded from the courtroom when the jury was being chosen for the 2010 trial.