Posted by Lisa Strawbridge - email
TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Michael Swiergosz testified in his own defense on the second day of his trial for charges of holding his estranged wife hostage, raping her and having a six-hour standoff with police. He faces up to 70 years in prison for the eight felony charges against him.
Swiergosz took the stand for an hour Thursday morning. When the court recessed, Swiergosz said he did not feel the whole story came out, so his attorney called him back to the stand.
Early in his testimony, Swiergosz said was aware of the restraining orders against him by his estranged wife and children.
As for the day of the standoff, Swiergosz testified that he couldn't sleep the night before and that he took an Ambien at 3 a.m. (Ambien is a sedative for the short-term treatment of insomnia.) Later that morning, Swiergosz said he went to a friend's house in Perrysburg, Ohio and stole that friend's gun.
Swiergosz testified he then sought out his wife while writing 157 questions to ask her.
Regarding testimony by other witnesses, Swiergosz said on the stand that an employee of the Sunset House, where the standoff and hostage situation took place, lied on the stand. Swiergosz said she lied to the jury when she testified that Swiergosz pointed a gun at her. He said he had the gun in his hand, but that he didn't point it at her. The employee testified that Swiergosz hit his estranged wife with a tire iron. Swiergosz said that was true, that he did hit her two times with a tire iron, but that he did not intend to hurt her any further at that time.
The victim, who is now the ex-wife of Swiergosz, also took the stand. She testified that her estranged husband told her to strip down naked, that he bound her wrists together and that he took her to an empty apartment on the Sunset House complex and raped her several times.
Swiergosz testified that the sex act at the Sunset House was consensual and that he didn't discuss it with detectives after his arrest because his sex life is private.
On the stand for the second time, Swiergosz said his wife had hidden money from him, that she used sex as a weapon and that she was keeping their four children away from him.