Sunday, July 21, 2024

Alleged Rodney Reed victim speaks out about 1995 rape

By Michael Corcoran

“After he raped me, he had this look in his eyes like he wanted to kill me,” says Vivian Harbottle. “I begged him for my life. I told him that I had three kids… He just kept staring at me. I was crying ‘please don’t kill me’ and then he finally left.”

A DNA match would tell Harbottle, a year and a half later (May 1997), that the man who sexually assaulted her near the railroad tracks in Bastrop was Rodney Reed, who is currently on death row for the rape and murder of Stacey Stites. The 19-year-old HEB cashier was killed April 23, 1996, six months after the Harbottle assault.

“I’m no angel,” says Harbottle, 56, who has had three DWI convictions and an assault charge after a bar fight. “But that man raped me.” She says she decided to do her first interview about the October 1995 incident because “no one is speaking up for the victims. No one is saying what a dirtbag Reed is. Everything is getting twisted around.”

Reed supporters celebrated a stay of execution by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals in February, just ten days before his March 5 date with the lethal injection in Huntsville. Amid much controversy, claims of Reed’s innocence, and charges of racism, the CCA is reviewing the case. Reed’s defense team points to Stites’ ex-boyfriend, former Giddings police officer Jimmy Fennell, as the likely perpetrator, after Fennell pled guilty in 2008 of sexually assaulting a woman in custody while on duty in Georgetown.

Vivian Harbottle 2015.
Vivian Harbottle recent photo.

But Harbottle says there’s no doubt in her mind that Reed is guilty. Six months after the Stites murder he was involved in another kipnapping and attempted sexual assault, but that victim escaped. “I don’t feel so bad for me,” she says. “I feel really bad for Stacey. If we were able to pin (the Harbottle rape) on Reed, she might still be alive.”

Harbottle was intoxicated the night she was raped, she admits. After a night of partying at Ray’s Place on Chestnut Street, where she used to work as a bartender, Harbottle started walking to her stepson’s house via the railroad tracks behind the bar. “Reed just came out of nowhere,” she says. They sat on the tracks and talked for a few minutes, she said, but when she got up to leave Reed threw her to the ground and raped her. “He had his hand over my mouth and then the train went by with the horn blowing,” she said. “No one could hear me scream.” The incident occurred about 100 yards from Reed’s house, but the case went cold when Harbottle couldn’t identify her attacker. She walked back to Ray’s and called police that night in ’95, but “it was dark and I was drunk,” she says. Police were able to draw a DNA sample, however, which matched with Reed after he turned himself in for a petty drug charge in April ’97 and submitted DNA.

It’s been 20 years and “everybody keeps telling me to move on, to forget the past,” she says, “but how can I when (the Reed case) is in the news all the time.” Harbottle says she’s been harassed by Reed supporters and had to report one to the police so he would stop coming by her restaurant (the short-lived In Cahoots in Bastrop) and grilling her about her testimony. She was called by the prosecutors during the sentencing phase of Reed’s trial. Four other former Reed rape victims also testified. “I’ve been called a liar and a whore,” she says. “I’ve had to stay off the Internet because it’s just too upsetting.”

Reed is still under indictment in the rapes of Harbottle and a 12-year-old girl, plus an attempted kidnapping, but he wasn’t tried in those cases because he was found guilty of capital murder in the Stites case.

More:

Who Is Rodney Reed?

Kris Betts and KVUE won an Emmy for this investigation of the Reed case.

46 thoughts on “Alleged Rodney Reed victim speaks out about 1995 rape

  1. Thank you for your time michael , also a big thank you to Lisa Tanner for the great job she did protecting the rape victim’s and any future victim’s there would have been !

  2. Nice try Vivian and Lisa…and Michael for that matter. Lisa, is Vivian the only ammo the state has? The 12 year old you speak of has stated, very recently, that Rodney did nothing to her. This blog is a desperate attempt to cover up for your lies and the meticulous frame job you’ve managed to hold up for 18 years. By your own words, Vivian, it was dark and you were drunk. Vivian, you forgot to mention how/why you had an ‘Aggravated Assault Causes Serious Bodily Injury’ charge (a major felony) dropped two weeks after testifying against Rodney. (Prosecutorial misconduct) Lisa, first off, how’s Fluffy? Or, Missy Wolfe, the special investigator for the prosecution during Rodney’s trial. You know, your live in lover, Missy ‘Fluffy’ Wolfe. The State’s prosecutor sleeping with the State’s special investigator, working on the same trial. That’s illegal. “Fluffy, I added Harbottle”……was that only during the trial or have you added Harbottle and made a threesome?

  3. This is a bunch of crap!! You all should be ashamed of yourself, including Lisa Tanner who is involved in a relationship with the lead investigator of the Reed case. Michael you are not helping solve this crime by digging up maybe’s.

  4. Dear be truthful, this is not a maybe !!! It is a proven fact,and if you knew anything about this case you would know that !! Dna does not lie !

  5. Y u hating on a rape victim ? I guess u hate lil babies too !! The truth is near so shut Ur mouth n lets c where it ends up – u can spit hatred to rape victims – smh the victim has been through enough ! N no stupid DNA don’t lie now go away n kick lil puppys !!

  6. Nice try Vivian and Lisa…and Michael for that matter. Lisa, is Vivian the only ammo the state has? The 12 year old you speak of has stated, very recently, that Rodney did nothing to her. This blog is a desperate attempt to cover up for your lies and the meticulous frame job you’ve managed to hold up for 18 years. By your own words, Vivian, it was dark and you were drunk. Vivian, you forgot to mention how/why you had an ‘Aggravated Assault Causes Serious Bodily Injury’ charge (a major felony) dropped two weeks after testifying against Rodney. (Prosecutorial misconduct) Lisa, first off, how’s Fluffy? Or, Missy Wolfe, the special investigator for the prosecution during Rodney’s trial. You know, your live in lover, Missy ‘Fluffy’ Wolfe. The State’s prosecutor sleeping with the State’s special investigator, working on the same trial. That’s illegal. “Fluffy, I added Harbottle”……was that only during the trial or have you added Harbottle and made a threesome?

  7. Omg really ! Please grow up and gets your facts straight! Your just another joke in yalls blame it on everyone but REEDS GAME!

  8. I wonder if u or anybody up in this can tell me y they pick on the VICTIM ??? WHEN THE DAY IS DONE WHY YOU PICKING ON THE VICTIM ?? and peeps wonder y we ladies don’t step up n say wht went down smh because of this going on right here n right now !! I saw ur post glad whoever took it down !! SMH And as far as the world goes did she consent to having sex with him ??? NOO SHE DID NOT NEITHER DID THE OTHER GIRLS – WOW what has happened to the world ?? Victims rights I SCREAM !!!! Y must they re-live the past- I hiss!!!!!!! Y ?

  9. (Michael….why are you afraid to post my comment?? It’s been waiting your review since Monday night?? Oh, you’re just a shit stirrer. Vivian was no victim of Rodney. She was a victim of Pat Barnett and you all three know it! if you have balls, which i presume you don’t, please post my comment below:)
    Nice try Vivian and Lisa…and Michael for that matter. Lisa, is Vivian the only ammo the state has? The 12 year old you speak of has stated, very recently, that Rodney did nothing to her. This blog is a desperate attempt to cover up for your lies and the meticulous frame job you’ve managed to hold up for 18 years. By your own words, Vivian, it was dark and you were drunk. Vivian, you forgot to mention how/why you had an ‘Aggravated Assault Causes Serious Bodily Injury’ charge (a major felony) dropped two weeks after testifying against Rodney. (Prosecutorial misconduct) Lisa, first off, how’s Fluffy? Or, Missy Wolfe, the special investigator for the prosecution during Rodney’s trial. You know, your live in lover, Missy ‘Fluffy’ Wolfe. The State’s prosecutor sleeping with the State’s special investigator, working on the same trial. That’s illegal. “Fluffy, I added Harbottle”……was that only during the trial or have you added Harbottle and made a threesome?

  10. An indictment tolls the statute of limitations. Reed has been indicted on at least 3 rape/aggravated assault charges. They are pending cases and will never go away until he is executed.

  11. Reed’s fans are acting even nutter than usual. I had hoped the opinion would be published today but no luck. When it does come down, be prepared for the attacks, insults, threats….

  12. They are citing a lower court Wisc case that held that any unidentified dna evidence may be exculpatory. Therefore, it shd be considered when determining whether a HC hearing shd be granted or not. It’s lame in that it is not controlling authority and not relevant to the facts of this case.

  13. Looks like they filed another amended petition for a writ of HC. Just the same old garbage — with the hope that something will stick. It’s all a delaying tactic.

  14. I just wish they would get this done and over with,for everyone’s sake!

  15. There are two issues before the court: a petition for a HC hearing and an appeal of the denial of further dna testing. Today, the TCCA sent the case back for the trial judge to make a further record on why he denied dna testing. Keller dissented and made a nice record on how the requests for further dna testing were redundant and/or irrelevant and nothing but deliberate delays:

    “This is not the conduct of a convicted person who knows he is innocent and thinks that DNA testing will prove it. Nor is it the conduct of a defense team who has any reason to believe the convicted person is innocent and thinks that DNA testing would prove it. This is the conduct of a defense team that realizes there is no hope of exoneration and is simply trying to delay the inevitable execution.”

  16. The defense has so much faith in their client’s innocent, they are filing more frivolous appeals hoping to delay the inevitable. They are trying to block the case being sent back to the trial court for further determinations on the dna issues.

  17. What they want is to delay the case as long as possible. His attys are well aware that he is guilty.

  18. The TCCA has been busy. They denied the defense’s motion for oral argument, for a rehearing, and for a 60 day extension. They also rejected the defense argument that the court did not have the authority to remand the case back to the trial court.

    The TCCA did grant the state’s motion for a 14 day extension.

  19. What of Stacy’s relative claiming she saw Reed with Stacy? What of Jummy violently raping a woman in his custody? Fennell’s a monster, and HIS rape victim thinks Reed’s innocent. Are you going to call HER a whore?

    Reed was no angel certainly, but the affair is possible (one of stacy’s relatives testified to seeing them together at a diary queen). Certainly given Jimmy’s crimes he should be questioned

  20. Given that at least one of stacy’s relatives testifies that she was sleeping with Reed it’s entirely possible that it will be legitimate and would prove something.

    Also I notice you dodge the rapist Jimmy

  21. The TCCA denied Reed’s request for rehearing on the DNA appeal on 10/04/2017:

    http://search.txcourts.gov/SearchMedia.aspx?MediaVersionID=3170b9d6-9495-4218-b432-75e48567ba06&coa=coscca&DT=REHEAR%20DISP%20-%20DNA&MediaID=79d19c17-ebad-4727-8761-9e1f84195718

    The mandate was issued on 10/10/2017:

    http://search.txcourts.gov/SearchMedia.aspx?MediaVersionID=bacd4dc8-e498-4278-8a94-837911a008a8&coa=coscca&DT=MANDATE%20ISSD&MediaID=0b850349-dec7-4178-8904-8fe9e18db575

    Benjet has implied that Reed will now seek relief in federal court. That claim will likely be summarily dismissed, as it was in Larry Swearingen’s case.

  22. Dear Vivian, I believe you. I, too, was raped and beaten by Rodney Reed. No matter what others say, I hope you find comfort knowing that God loves you and that God knows what happened.

  23. Oh ,I’m so sorry to hear about you ! I’m betting there are more ,who are just too afraid to say so.

  24. Hang in there, ladies. He’s guilty and he is extremely dangerous. Reed is going nowhere. I know it’s difficult with all the lies by the defense, the nutters, and the MSM, but the truth will prevail.

  25. This comment section is pretty sad. So much hatred and circle-jerking. Whatever happened, you won’t find “healing” begging and rooting for a fellow human being to have their life snuffed out. What kind of people cheer things like that on?

  26. Fake, moderated comment section. I should have guessed by the lack of comments. Only pro-murder comments that push a disgusting narrative are being approved by Michael Corcoran. Gross.

  27. What about Rodney’s pending trials for the rape of a 12yo girl (in 1989) and all of the others? They have DNA in the case of the 12yo. Surely he will get the death penalty (again) once he is convicted of that heinous crime.

  28. I listened to the evidence in the Stites case & I do not believe he did it. The sperm was so old all that was left were the heads. Plus, he wasn’t in the area when she was murdered. Now for the other cases the evidence is overwhelming but I believe he deserves a new trial in the Stites case.

  29. Yea ok Karla, whatever you say. Since you think Rodney Reed is innocent why don’t you try to bust him out of prison & have him come live with you. I hope you don’t have any daughters. DUMBASS.

  30. Calvin Horton has never testified. In 2014/2015, he signed a declaration claiming that on a date he couldn’t remember some time in the fall of 1995, he saw a woman he believed to be Stacey with a man he believed to be Reed leaving the Dairy Queen in Bastrop in a green car that Stacey was driving. Horton did not report this information to police in 1996, when Stacey was murdered, 1997 when Reed was arrested or 1998 at the time of Reed’s trial. He didn’t report the information during any of Reed’s subsequent state post-conviction claims in 2000, 2003, 2009, etc. In 2017, Reed’s attorneys failed to call Horton to testify under oath during post-conviction hearings ordered by the TCCA.

    The reasonable inference from all of these facts is that Calvin Horton was neither credible, nor reliable.

  31. Reed has a sick history of raping women and a 12 year old. I bet there are more victims out there. He is a sick and vile man.

  32. That is an argument that is entirely unsupported by any medical or scientific testimony. That is why Reed’s multiple attempts to establish that he was involved in a relationship with Stacey have been found to be unreliable and/or not credible. Your claim that Reed wasn’t in Bastrop at the time Stacey was murdered is also false. I suspect your confusing claims that he wasn’t in Bastrop at the time Angela was raped, which is equally unproven by any testimony before any court.

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