Crime Watch

Apr 7, 2014 4:59 PM by Victoria Fregoso - Q2 News

Police detective: Photos of victims found on Griego's phone

BILLINGS - A jury was seated and opening statements were made Monday at the trial for accused rapist Toby Eugene Griego.

Griego faces 27 counts for rapes and attacks that targeted Billings women between January and July of last year.

The first pieces of evidence presented brought looks of shock and disapproval from jurors.

The photos were images of four victims who were allegedly terrorized by Griego.

"All four of them attacked, beaten, robbed, kidnapped and for three of them, brutally and horribly raped," Chief Deputy Yellowstone County Attorney Rod Souza said to the jury. "The state will prove to you over the course of this trial,all at the hands of one man, the defendant, Toby Griego."

The defense stressed to the jury to make its decision on the evidence and consider whether Griego is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

"As we go through this process, Toby Griego is clothed with the presumption of innocence until such time as you find that the evidence persuades you differently," Public Defender David Duke said to the jury.

Prosecutors said the attacks were spread out over several months and took place on January 27, April 25, May 27, and July 2 in 2013.

In each case, the victims were woken during early morning hours, bound by clothing found in their bedrooms and three of them were then brutally raped. The fourth victim was able to fight Griego and escape.

While attacking those women, prosecutors said Griego took photos and videos with his smart phone. At one point, he even caught his own face on the camera.

Chief Deputy Yellowstone County Attorney Juli Pierce handed witness Jim Woog, a police detective, a bag of evidence that contained Griego's Motorola Droid Razr.

Woog said he analyzed the data and recovered hidden and deleted files from Griego's cell phone.

Several of those photos were presented to the jury.

The dates and times of the explicit images matched the dates and times the victims reported they were attacked.

On Tuesday, prosecutors will continue to call witnesses, including one of the victim's and her neighbor who helped the woman after she was attacked.

Prosecutors have a list of 31 witnesses they plan to call to the stand.

Before testimony began, the jury was told the trial could last into next week.

Updates from throughout the day are listed below-

UPDATE 3:30 p.m.

Photos of Griego's second alleged victim were also found in the same folder "Girls from Lake."

Those photos were taken on April 25, 2013 at 8:05 a.m.

This date and time also matches when the woman said she was attacked.

According to court documents, the woman was 22 at the time of the attack.

Unlike the other alleged victims, this woman was not raped and was able to fight and get away from Griego, documents state.

Before leaving, the woman said Griego took her phone.

After he left, she ran to her roommate's bedroom, locked the door and called 911.


UPDATE 3 p.m.

Woog, the police detective, found an application on Griego's phone called "Hide it Pro," which is used to hide photos and other files on phones.

The jury was shown a video video Woog made to demonstrate how the application works.

Woog confirmed that he found photos of the offenses in question on Griego's phone.

He recovered a total of about 25,000 photos from Griego's phone. Not all were related to the alleged crimes.

Woog found a folder on Griego's phone titled "Girls from Lake." In that folder were photos of Griego's first alleged victim.

Woog said the photos were taken on Jan. 27, 2013 at 6:22 a.m., which is the time the first victim said she was attacked.


UPDATE 2:30 p.m.

Senior Deputy County Attorney Juli Pierce asked Woog, the police detective, to identify Griego's phone, a Motorola Droid Razr.

The phone was checked in as evidence on Aug. 22 and examined by Woog.

Earlier, prosecutors told the jury they would see photos taken at the crime scene and recovered from the phone, including a photo of Griego.

Woog explained how he is able to recover deleted photos from a cell phone and SD card.

Woog said when a file is deleted, the file, such as a photo, is marked and it is no longer visible to the user.

During that process, nothing happens to the file and it remains on the phone.

It won't be erased until the space is needed. Until then, the file remains on the phone.

Woog said Griego began using his phone in November 2012. Woog said he found photos of Griego and his girlfriend and other personal photos on the phone.


UPDATE 2 p.m.

Toby Griego's attorney, David Duke, made his opening argument.

Duke asked the jury to consider whether Griego is guilty "beyond a reasonable doubt."

Around the time the alleged assaults occurred, Duke said other men were also arrested and questioned as suspects.

Duke asked the jury to base their decision on the evidence presented in the case and to take their oath seriously.

The opening arguments were completed after each side had 30 minutes to speak directly to the jury.

Prosecutors then called t's first witness, Billings Police Detective Jim Woog.

Woog will testify regarding his investigation and how he extracted deleted photos and videos from Griego's phone and SD card.


UPDATE 1:30 p.m.

Opening arguments have begun.

Chief Deputy County Attorney Rod Souza began by displaying photos of the four victims on a projector screen.

Souza told the jury that three of the victims had been "brutally and horribly raped."

Souza told the jury evidence includes photos and videos of the the alleged attacks.

This also includes a video where Griego turned the videocamera during an attack on himself.


UPDATE 12:30 p.m.

Opening arguments begin at 1:15 p.m.

UPDATE 11:40 a.m.

A jury has been selected at the Toby Griego rape trial and they are receiving instructions form the judge. Opening statements are expected soon.

Twelve jurors and three altnates - eight men and seven women were chosen to decide the case out of a pool of 300. The selection process began last Wednesday.


BILLINGS - The prosecution completed interviews with about half of the potential jurors by mid-Monday morning at the trial of accused serial rapist Toby Eugene Griego.

Griego, 41, is present in the courtroom for this portion of jury selection. He appeared to be engaged in the juror's answers as he turned to face each juror when they spoke.

Deputy Yellowstone County Attorney Juli Pierce asked the 33 potential jurors a wide range of questions, from their ability to use a smart phone to the difficulty of being part of the jury.

A group of about 30 more jurors are waiting to be questioned.

Griego's defense attorney, Public Defender David Duke, began questioning the jurors at about 10:30 a.m.

Among his questions, Duke asked the jurors how they would feel if Griego decided not to give testimony during trial. He wanted assurance it would not alter their opinion about the case.

Opening arguments are expected to begin later today before Yellowstone County District Judge Russell Fagg.

Griego faces 26 felony charges and one misdemeanor for the crimes that took place between January and July of last year.

Those charges include 10 felony counts of sexual intercourse without consent, six felony counts of robbery, four felony counts of aggravated kidnapping, one count of attempted sexual intercourse without consent, one felony count of assault with a weapon, two felony counts of intimidation, two felony counts of aggravated assault and one misdemeanor count of surreptitious visual observation or recordation.

Prosecutors allege Griego broke into the homes of several women and sexually assaulted them. Some victims were also forced to remove cash from their bank accounts.

Griego was originally charged with 40 counts. Prosecutors consolidated the charges for trial.

Griego's case received large amounts of media coverage as the alleged crimes struck fear across Billings for seven months last year.

If the jury finds him guilty, Griego could receive a life sentence.

Testimony at the trial could take up to six days.

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