REDWOOD CITY -- An ex-boyfriend who accused Kwame Harris of beating him during an argument has refused to testify against the former Raiders and 49ers lineman, but that doesn't mean domestic violence charges will be dismissed, a prosecutor said Wednesday.
The case against Harris, which is in jury selection, will proceed with a description of the violence ex-boyfriend Dimitri Geier of Los Angeles provided during an earlier hearing, said San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe. Opening arguments on domestic violence and assault charges stemming from a August 2012 beating in the parking lot of Menlo Park Chinese restaurant could begin as soon as Wednesday.
Geier told San Mateo County Superior Court Judge Joseph Scott Tuesday he would not testify against Harris. Though a judge would typically be able to jail a person who refuses to take the stand, Scott's hands are tied because state law prohibits locking up domestic violence victims who don't cooperate.
Normally this would mean the end of the prosecution's case, said Wagstaffe. However, Geier's earlier testimony at a preliminary hearing on the evidence can be read to the jury.
The trouble started Aug. 21, 2012 when Harris -- a former first round NFL draft pick who played college football at Stanford -- and Geier were sharing dinner at Su Hong restaurant in Menlo Park, according to attorneys and a prosecutor. Harris was to drive Geier to San Francisco International Airport for a flight following the meal. But the men began to argue after Geier poured soy sauce on some rice, which upset Harris, according to a lawsuit Geier filed in San Mateo County in October 2012.
The arguing continued and escalated, until finally Harris withdrew his offer to drop Geier off at the airport. Geier agreed to take a cab instead, but as they went to retrieve his bags from Harris' car the dispute turned violent. Harris allegedly tried to pull down Geier's pants and accused him of stealing his underwear, according to the suit. At some point the struggle came to blows.
Harris is out of jail on $75,000 bail.
Contact Joshua Melvin at 650-348-4335. Follow him at Twitter.com/melvinreport.