But the mother added that knowing the man who raped her daughter would likely be going away to prison for the rest of his natural life doesn’t bring closure to the victim or her family.
“This may give her some sense of peace,” the mother said.
Asked how the victim, who is now 20, reacted upon hearing the guilty verdicts, her father said, “She let out a sigh of relief.”
Kemp showed no emotion when the judge pronounced the jury’s unanimous verdicts.
“I know my client is disappointed,” Kemp’s attorney, Chuck Lahey, said outside the courtroom afterward. “But we understand the jury made the best decision they could. They worked hard at it.”
Lahey said he plans to appeal the verdicts.
Deputy Prosecutor Christy Haws charged that Kemp lay waiting in the handicapped stall inside the women’s bathroom at Walgreens when the woman entered after she had clocked back into work following a lunch break at about 1 p.m. that day.
“The decision she made to go into that bathroom at that time is a decision that changed her life forever,” Haws told jurors.
The victim took the stand Tuesday and told jurors Kemp came up from behind in the bathroom, put his hand over her mouth, and threatened, “Don’t say anything or I’ll kill you.”
Then he pushed her into the stall and ordered her to take her pants off.
Kemp at first tried to force himself inside her, but when he couldn’t he ordered her to turn around and perform oral sex on him.
The victim was then ordered to lie down on the bathroom floor, where Kemp raped her.
The trial took an unexpected turn Thursday when Kemp took the stand and claimed the sex was consensual, and that the victim introduced herself in the Walgreens parking lot and offered to perform oral sex in exchange for $20.
Kemp told jurors he had just left his motel room at the Wooden Indian and walked two blocks to Walgreens to buy a pop.
He said the victim approached in the parking lot, offered him oral sex for a fee, and agreed to meet him in the Walgreens bathroom 30 minutes later.
According to Kemp, he waited for the woman in a stall and when she came in, “We started kissing, and one thing led to another.”
Kemp said he ran from the scene when she started calling out rape.
“When she screamed, it kinda scared me,” he said.
The victim’s family, seated in the courtroom audience when Kemp was on the stand, shuddered at his statements, particularly his lewd language.
One family member left the courtroom crying in the middle of his testimony, covering her face with her hands.
Haws fired questions at Kemp during her cross-examination. He frequently answered with, “I don’t know,” “I wasn’t paying attention,” or, at one point when asked if he heard someone come into the bathroom, “my hearing ain’t that good.”
Kemp crossed his arms and took frequent sips of water from a Styrofoam cup while Haws paced in front of him.
“So your testimony is that a 19-year-old virgin propositioned you (for oral sex)?” Haws asked.
He then denied that he threatened to kill the victim, ordered her to take off her clothes, or forced himself on her.
Throughout the three-day trial, Kemp appeared nonchalant, yawning, biting his nails, occasionally checking the courtroom clock and incessantly turning in his chair at the defense table to stare at women in the courtroom, including the victim when she sat with her parents and family members listening to closing arguments.
The victim left the courthouse and went home before the verdicts were read.
On Thursday, Haws called a forensic DNA analyst from the Indiana State Police, who testified that while certain male fluids were found on swabs from the victim’s body, the samples were not strong enough to be accurately compared with Kemp’s DNA.
But a South Bend Police Department detective testified that Kemp’s fingerprints were found on the doors of two of the bathroom stalls.