Pinellas County, Florida -- In the summer of 2011, homeless advocates were outraged after discovering the operator of a website was paying men to be beaten by a woman and videotaped.
On Wednesday in a Pinellas courtroom, one of those men took the stand. James Coyer, 39, is mentally challenged, but in short and simple sentences he told jurors what happened to him.
Photo Gallery:Pictures of a SheFights.net "beatdown"(warning: graphic content)
He'd taken a bus, gotten lost, and wound up for days among the homeless in St. Petersburg's Williams Park. And that's where people working for the website Shefights.net found him.
"He came up and asked me if I wanted to make money," Cayer testified.
Cayer was then taken to a business in Clearwater where he got into a boxing ring with Zuzu Varga. Her stage name is Cindy.
From 2011: Homeless endure videotaped beatings for cash
Prosecutors showed a video of the 10-minute beating that seemed to go on and on. With Cayer not allowed to fight back and grunting at each hit, it was difficult to watch.
"I had two black eyes, my whole body was hurting," Cayer said of the result.
Website operator Jeffery Williams and Varga are on trial for the aggravated abuse of a disabled person.
Defense attorney Luke Lirot argues that in Williams' brief encounter with Cayer, he didn't realize that Cayer was mentally challenged. Cayer also signed a waiver.
"Did you ever tell Mr. Williams you didn't understand what he was reading to you?" questioned Lirot. "No Sir," responded Cayer.
Cayer testified he was too ashamed to tell anyone he didn't understand all the big words on the release forms. But if convicted, Williams and Varga face more than shame. The first-degree felony carries a possible sentence of 30 years.
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