Woman Accusing Husband Of Rape Takes Stand

Shawn Harris Accused Of Spousal Rape

A Carlsbad woman who is accusing her husband of rape testified in a Vista courtroom Tuesday and described what she feels led to violence in her marriage.

Shawn Harris faces charges of spousal rape by force, sodomy and forced oral copulation, according to authorities.

Crystal Harris married Shawn Harris in 1996, and she said everything was fine in their marriage for the first couple of years.

However, she told the court violence became a part of their relationship beginning in 1998, when she said her husband struck her while she was driving him to work.

Over the next several years, Crystal said the marriage would go in cycles that saw violence, marriage counseling and then violence again.

In 2008, Crystal said her husband's threats against her reached frightening levels.

"Once Shawn started threatening me like that, he was so serious and given the level of violence that I experienced with Shawn already, I totally believed his threats," said Crystal.

In March 2008, Crystal said Shawn, in a rage, choked and raped her. She said he issued another ominous threat.

"If I did go to the police or if I did go to my family that I would be dead before the police would arrive," Crystal said.

She said she was able to audio record what happened that night and feels that is the proof that her husband raped her.

Defense attorney Herb Weston said Crystal's case is all about "greed and lies," and in his opening statement he accused Crystal of setting up Shawn with the tape.

Weston said Crystal wanted out of the marriage, but since she was the breadwinner she did not want to pay support.

Crystal wanted to put her husband in prison so she wouldn't have to pay that support, according to Weston.

The trial is expected to last for at least another week.

If Shawn Harris is convicted on all charges, he could face a maximum of 16 years in prison.

NOTE: Crystal Harris told the court and presiding judge she did not have an issue having her photo taken or being recorded for 10News' story.