This week has been a somewhat quiet one regarding the trial of Michael Rafferty, the man accused of kidnapping, raping and murdering 8-year-old- Tori Stafford.
However, one of the major headlines sweeping this case is about Rafferty’s previous relationships with women he met shortly on the dating website PlentyOfFish.com, after Stafford was abducted.
Charity Spitzig met Rafferty on the website, and had the impression that her and Rafferty were exclusive, and was hoping it would lead to marriage. Falling for the web of lies that Rafferty was spinning, Spitzig testified that she worked as an escort to make money for the couple and gave Rafferty over $16,000 dollars in the months before Stafford went missing.
On the day that Stafford went missing, Spitzig deposited $500 into Rafferty’s bank account. Shortly after Stafford was abducted, Spitzig deposited another $100 into Rafferty’s account, saying he needed it for gas money, which was most likely needed to drive to the location where he would hide Stafford’s body.
Spitzig was one of the many women that Rafferty met online prior to the abduction. He also met Elysia Haid, whom he had sex with the day after Stafford was murdered. Rafferty also spoke with three other women on the same day, and got in at least one argument with one of them because he was seeing so many women.
Despite Rafferty’s promiscuous stage before and after the abduction and murder of Stafford, Justice Thomas Heeney told the jury that this information should not directly affect their verdict, as it does not have much to do with the murder of Stafford.
His exact words to the jury were, “All of this may lead you to believe that Mr. Rafferty was a philandering cad or worse . . . Whatever you may think of Mr. Rafferty’s character, it has no relevance to whether he is guilty of the crimes he is charge with.”
The trial will return on Tuesday, April 24, 2012, but the jury will not return till the following day.