After two years of continuances, the allegations against Noah Best of sexual assault and impeding an investigation finally made it to trial on Thursday.
Best’s defense attorney, Jason Lamm, is not arguing against the charge of obstructing criminal investigations or prosecutions. But Best’s counsel is vehemently denying the idea that there is proof of sexual assault, partially blaming police investigators and the victim for their varied testimony. Prosecutor Ammon Barker defended the thoroughness of the investigation, and attributed the varied testimony to the crime’s complexity.
The alleged sexual assault took place in 2016 after a work party. After having drinks, a group of co-workers went back to Best’s home, where the alleged sexual assault took place. The victim met Best through work and described him as a good boss before the alleged events in this case.
Christopher Green was a witness to the alleged crime and also alleged that Best attempted to pay him in off in order to secure his silence. The victim also alleged that Best attempted to pay her for her silence, which the defense does not deny.
“I have more money than I have friends, and I need friends more than I need money,” Best allegedly said, according to the victim.
Green was the designated driver that night and a key witness in this case who testified on Thursday. On the stand, Green alleged he saw intercourse occur after he dropped off one of their co-workers, received texts from the victim saying “It’s not what I want,” and heard the victim yell no as he entered the home. He then loudly barged into the room to stop what he alleges was a sexual assault.
Best’s defense hoped to undermine Green’s version of events by pointing out that he had not told police officers that he had seen evidence of intercourse until he was asked on the stand by Barker on Thursday.
Barker accepted that fact, but emphasized that Green had entered the room and had the vantage point needed to determine the truth. Through his questioning, Barker posed that it is not Green’s job to determine the facts necessary in the case.
“Defense counsel asked you if you provided all important facts to law enforcement officers,” Barker said. “Are you law enforcement? Do you know what all the important facts are in the case?”
Green testified that he saw Noah and the victim kiss earlier that night, which the victim alleged was forced. Green also testified that he came back to the home after dropping off a co-worker, heard the victim yelling no from Best’s bedroom and alleged that he saw the victim and Best engaging in intercourse.
Throughout Barker’s questioning of the victim, he emphasized her alleged thought process that night to explain why she didn’t leave and why the victim felt like she needed to hide the truth from her significant other and investigators. The victim responded by outlining feelings of shame and concerns for her boss and how that might affect his family.
“It’s a hard thing to decide, what the right thing to do is when it affects multiple people,” the victim said on the stand. “I was unsure if I should take everything on my shoulders or not.”