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6:30 PM Tue, Nov. 20th

Alleged victim in kidnapping case testifies

The alleged victim in the Curtis Hollingsworth kidnapping retrial took the stand Thursday and recounted, sometimes tearfully, a flight through a Cordes Lakes neighborhood in an effort to elude a man she said was following her.

Hollingsworth, 48, is charged with two counts of kidnapping after Yavapai County Sheriff's deputies said he tried to drag a 17-year-old girl into his car while she was out for an evening walk near her home in Cordes Lakes.

His first trial in June ended in a mistrial when the prosecution admitted it had shown her a photo of Hollingsworth in handcuffs and she then pointed him out in court as her attacker.

Hollingsworth is charged with kidnapping because the definition, under Arizona law, includes "restraining" a victim through "physical force," or any other means if the victim is younger than 18.

Thursday, she was on the stand for several hours, as both sides painstakingly went over the story, turn by turn, with a large map, explaining where she said she had walked and where the car pursued her.

This time, Deputy County Attorney Steve Young avoided the issue of identifying Hollingsworth altogether, never asking the girl about him at all. Instead, he focused on the car and the shirt she said the attacker wore, both of which she could identify.

Anticipating defense attorney Andrew Falick's questions, Young asked her why she did not stop at a small store or a pizza place to ask for help as she ran past.

"I was just thinking of getting home," she said.

The girl described being boxed-in by a car, how the driver opened the door and grabbed her by the wrist, then "peeling" her attacker's hand off and running, finally stopping in the driveway of a home to yell at the driver to get away. The car drove off, and she ran home.

Young asked her, "What did you think was going to happen?"

"I was thinking he was going to kill me, rape me" - here she broke into tears - "I was just thinking I was never going to see my family again," she replied.

Falick's cross-examination went into more detail about a different route. He asked many times if she had been on various streets, she would say, "No," and he would follow up with "You never told (YCSO) Deputy (Michael) Martin that?" and again, she would answer, "No."

Falick also asked if she knew Hollingworth's son "from high school," and whether she had a friend who had lived across the street from him. Both times she said, "Yes."

He did ask whether she ever stopped for help, including as she passed the home of a Sheriff's deputy with a marked SUV out front, and she said she hadn't.

Falick also hit hard the issue of whether she had ever said the car passed her on the street. She insisted it hadn't, and that she misspoke when she told deputies it had.

On re-direct, Young asked her, "When you ran past the pizza place and didn't go in, does that mean you're lying to us today?"

"No."

"If you were lying, why would you continue to lie about this?" he asked.

"I have no reason to lie," she replied.

Young also played a recording of Hollingsworth's first encounter with a YCSO Sergeant after the 911 call. He told the Sergeant that he'd been in Cordes Lakes to see a friend. "I was driving up the road and she was in the middle of the street and she said, 'Get away' or something like that," Hollingsworth said on the recording.

Young expects to wrap up his case today; the trial resumes Wednesday and is slated to finish by Sept. 21.