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Teen feared her rapist and accused murderer, counselor testifies

A Michigan teenager who was scheduled to testify against her alleged rapist and was later found dead was scared after reporting the man, who is now standing trial for her murder, according to testimony Tuesday. Quinn James, 43, is on trial in the slaying of 16-year-old Mujey Dumbuya.

The student at East Kentwood High School, near Grand Rapids, disappeared Jan. 24, 2018 and was found strangled four days later in Kalamazoo, about 50 miles south of the school, CBS Kalamazoo affiliate WWMT-TV reported. Her partially clothed body was soaked in bleach and dumped in a wooded area, the station reported.

Mujey Dumbuya WWMT-TV

Dumbuya had in November 2017 accused James, who at one time worked as a groundskeeper for her school district, of forcing her to have sex with him multiple times and in various locations starting when she was 15, WWMT reported. James was reportedly charged with multiple counts of criminal sexual conduct and arrested the same month, reports the station. He pleaded not guilty and was released on bond days after his arrest.

James was ordered to have no contact ahead of the trial with Dumbuya, who was also dating the nephew of his fiancee, according to WWMT. Dumbuya was to testify at the proceedings, scheduled to start nine weeks after her body was found, the station reports. Prosecutors argue James kidnapped her from her Grand Rapids bus stop the morning she disappeared and killed her in order to prevent her from testifying.

James was convicted on four counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct in Dumbuya's rape in October — after her death — and sentenced to 20 to 30 years in prison. He is standing trial separately in her murder.

Dumbuya's high school guidance counselor testified Tuesday that Dumbuya told her she was afraid of James after telling police he raped her, WWMT reported.

Jennifer Twilling was with Dumbuya when she reported the rape to police on Nov. 16, 2017, the station reported.

"She told me on multiple occasions she knew the right thing, but she was afraid," Twilling testified Tuesday.

Twilling said Dumbuya told her James knew the location of her bus stop and she feared "something would happen to her," WWMT reported.

On Monday, prosecutors reportedly played jailhouse calls in which James discussed Dumbuya and outlined an alibi, WWMT reported. One of the calls was placed to his fiancee on November 18, 2017, after James was arrested on criminal sexual conduct charges involving Dumbuya but before her death.

James Quinn WWMT-TV

"You know what's crazy? That if she didn't show up then the whole thing will be over, if she doesn't show up," James said during the call, the station reports.

Prosecutors played another call James placed Feb. 3, 2018, after Dumbuya was found dead, as he was jailed in relation to a separate 2014 sex assault. He is heard telling his fiancee to write down his whereabouts on Jan. 24, 2018, the day Dumbuya went missing, the station reported.

The victim in the 2014 case testified Tuesday that James raped her inside her home, choked her and threatened to pour bleach on her, according to WWMT.

James' defense attorney, Jonathan Schildgen, has said James admitted to a what he said was a consensual sexual relationship with Dumbuya, but thought she was 16, not 15, MLive reported. He reportedly attacked the motive outlined by the prosecution that James killed Dumbuya in order to keep her from testifying, saying that would be "just about the dumbest plan in the history of plans."

Prosecutors reportedly say Dumbuya's blood was found in James' rental vehicle and his DNA was found on her pants.

James on Tuesday reportedly declined to testify in his own defense.

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