Archive for Thursday, August 26, 1999

KU SOPHOMORE FACES SECOND TRIAL FOR RAPE

August 26, 1999

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The second trial for a 19-year-old man accused of rape began Wednesday in Douglas County District Court.

A Kansas University sophomore who says a fellow student raped her last year will never be able to forget what happened to her, a Douglas County prosecutor said Wednesday during the first day of the woman's alleged attacker's second trial.

"She doesn't remember all the details," Douglas County Assistant Dist. Atty. David Zabel said during his opening statement to the six women and six men of the jury. "What she remembers and will never be able to forget is that the defendant (raped) her without her consent."

The 19-year-old defendant is accused of raping the woman after Late Night with Roy Williams on Oct. 17. A jury in June couldn't reach a decision on the rape charge against the man. Jurors then acquitted him of a sexual battery charge involving another woman but found him guilty of furnishing alcohol to a minor.

Police said the attack occurred in the woman's room at Ellsworth Hall after a party she had attended in the man's dorm room.

Zabel said the victim has had to tell her story more than 10 times and "probably has relived it in her mind more times than that."

Though the woman doesn't remember exact details about times or the sequence of events, inconsistencies in her testimony do not mean she is lying, Zabel said.

Defense attorney Don Smith of Olathe told jurors to keep an open mind about the case from beginning to end. He said inconsistencies in the woman's story matter.

"The only thing you're going to have in your mind (at the conclusion of the trial) is doubt, way beyond reasonable doubt," he said.

During his first trial, the man said he and the woman had consensual oral sex. She has not alleged that they actually had intercourse, but the sexual activities she described to police met the legal definition of rape.

Smith stressed to the jury that no one heard the woman, then 18, screaming and that it's difficult to believe his client could have undressed her while pinning her down against her will.

The trial is expected to continue through Friday.

-- Deb Gruver's phone message number is 832-7165. Her e-mail address is dgruver@ljworld.com.

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