Transcript of Police Interrogation In Megan Rondini Rape Case May Doom Sweet T
By Donald V. Watkins
©Copyrighted and Published (via Facebook) on August 11, 2017
©Copyrighted and Published (via Facebook) on August 11, 2017
On August 7, 2017, we released the Tuscaloosa County Sheriff's investigator's July 2, 2015, interrogation of the "suspect" Megan Rondini accused of raping her. His name is Terry Jackson "Sweet T" Bunn, Jr. The interrogation was recorded on audiotape and lasted 6 minutes and 32 seconds.
Even though this was a police interrogation of a rape suspect, the investigator labeled it a "conversation". The tone of the questions and bursts of laughter between the investigator and suspect made it clear that this interrogation was very congenial.
A transcript of the recorded conversation appears below. If and when a proper criminal investigation of Megan's rape case is conducted, this transcript may doom Sweet T. Upon closer scrutiny, the transcript reveals a "scripted" scenario.
Sweet T Falsely Portrayed Megan Rondini as a Young, Star-Struck Slut Who Desired His Body
Sweet T never referred to Megan Rondini by name. To him, Megan was just "somebody" he picked up outside of Innisfree Irish Pub after midnight who knew his name, who was "friendly", "outgoing", and "flirtatious" with Sweet T, and who wanted to go home with him to have immediate, unprotected, "consensual sex".
Sweet T did not know Megan's name or age. He assumed she was in school since she lived at University Downs. He did not ask Megan anything about her work.
[For the record, Megan Rondini was a thoughtful, highly regarded, 3.8 GPA honors student at The University of Alabama who was studying to become a veterinarian physician. She came from a well-respected, financially secure family in Austin, Texas that contributed scholarship money to The University of Alabama].
Sweet T also says he, Megan, and Jason Barksdale (his friend) stopped at Megan apartment for drinks before they proceeded to his house for a sexual encounter. Sweet T became evasive when asked questions about whether Megan had been drinking.
Even though three drink glasses were on Megan kitchen counter when investigators visited her apartment immediately after she reported the incident, Sweet T merely "assumed" that Megan had been drinking. He was crystal clear about Megan's alleged desires for his body and about having unprotected sex with her without ejaculating.
All of the events Sweet T described occurred sometime after midnight but before 5 a.m. on the morning of July 2, 2015.
The Investigator and Suspect Depersonalized Megan Rondini
When he was not laughing with Sweet T, the investigator interrogated Sweet T with leading questions that suggested the desired answers to the suspect. The investigator set the tone for his perfunctory inquiry when he referred to Megan as "this girl" at the beginning of the interrogation/conversation. Sweet T reduced Megan "somebody".
In this regard, both the investigator and criminal suspect effectively depersonalized Megan Rondini as a human being and victim of rape. The investigator never used Megan's name in any of his questions. Sweet T described Megan the way a serial sexual predator typically describes his prey – cold, detached, and devoid of feelings.
No Questions Were Asked About the Use of "Date Rape" Drugs
Even though Megan's behavior while in the presence of Sweet T was consistent with a victim who had been administered a "date rape" drug, the investigator never questioned him about drugging Megan. Sweet T's evasive answer about drinks at Megan's apartment did not prompt the investigator to pursue this line of inquiry in any way.
The investigator did not question Sweet T about any prior reported rape incidents under similar circumstances in which he was designated as the accused rape suspect. Sweet T had a general reputation in the Tuscaloosa community for similar acts of sexual abuse. He also had a general reputation in the community for buying and using "date rape" drugs at parties and in individual encounters.
Finally, the investigator never questioned Sweet T about any act of resistance described by Megan.
The Established Timeline Makes a Sexual Encounter with Megan Improbable, Absent the Use of a "Date Rape" Drug
Absent the use of a "date rape" drug, Sweet T's established timeline and account of the sexual encounter with Megan Rondini is simply not credible. In the span of five hours, Sweet T: (a) picked up Megan outside of Innisfree after midnight; (b) drove to Megan's apartment, engaged in small talk with her, and had drinks there; (c) then Sweet T, along with Barksdale, drove home with Megan (which is something he flatly denied doing in his first police interview); (d) had unprotected, "consensual sex" with a willing and eager Megan, without ejaculating; and (e) fell asleep until he was awaken by investigator Josh Hastings at 5:45 a.m.
During the same five-hour period, Megan: (a) left Innisfree walking home alone; (b) did not remember ever being at her apartment with Sweet T and Barksdale at any time; (c) had unprotected sex with Sweet T (which she later reported to police as a rape); (d) escaped from Sweet T's locked second floor bedroom by climbing out of a window and jumping to the ground; (e) texted her friend for help; (f) called for a cab; (g) searched Sweet T's house and car for her apartment keys; (h) looked for some cash to pay the cab; (i) rode directly to DCH Regional Medical Center with her friend; (j) submitted to a rape kit exam and urine sample, and (k) reported her rape to criminal investigators who interviewed her at DCH at 5 a.m.
Investigators Knew Sweet T and Helped Him Escape Criminal Justice
Investigators immediately knew Megan's accused rapist the moment she mentioned the name "Sweet T". As the transcript shows, they asked him no questions about his personal background. They had a "conversation" with Sweet T, rather than a true interrogation of him as a rape suspect.
Additionally, law enforcement officials conducted no forensic testing on Megan's rape kit or urine sample. A scientific answer to whether Megan's sexual encounter with Sweet T was facilitated by a "date rape" drug could have been obtained from a timely forensic test on Megan's urine sample. Investigators did not want a scientific answer to this question.
Investigators did not collect and test the three drink glasses on the kitchen counter at Megan's apartment for the presence of a "date rape" drug.
The transcript makes it clear that investigators were "continuing" their prior "conversation" with Sweet T. Their prior "conversation" was not tape-recorded. A case summary report says Sweet T denied that Megan was ever at his house when investigators first question Sweet T about Megan.
Finally, the investigators gave Sweet T a two-hour window of opportunity to consult with his lawyer to get his story straight after their first "conversation" with him and before their continued "conversation". This is evident when the investigator inexplicably skips Sweet T's previous denial of Megan being at his house and asks him "…. what happened last night?" Sweet T then birthed a new storyline by responding, "…. I brought somebody back to my residence with me. We had consensual sex and went to bed…".
Sweet T is now stuck with the words in his continued "conversation" with investigators. These words may come back to doom Sweet T and those who helped him escape criminal justice in Megan Rondini's rape case.