NEW HANOVER COUNTY -- Testimony began today in the trial of a man accused of raping a 78-year-old woman. It started with what may be considered a very brave act. The second person to take the stand was the only eyewitness: the victim herself. Antonio McAllister is on trial for first-degree rape. Thursday morning he had to face the woman he allegedly beat, tied up, choked and raped. The victim -- now 80 years old -- testified that she fell asleep one night in July of 2005 at her home in Pender County. She said she was woken up by someone punching her in the face and a man with "very good English" told her he was going to rape her. The woman told the jury she never saw her attackers face because she passed out from the beating. The jury was shown graphic pictures of the victim's injuries, along with pillowcases and sheets McAllister allegedly used to tie her up. The trial will resume tomorrow and is expected to last through next week. No word on whether McAllister himself will take the stand in his own defense. Everyone involved in the case, including family members, is under a gag order. This means they cannot discuss the case outside of the courtroom.
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