Archive for Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Prosecutor says Pratt man raped KU student as she slept in dorm room

The trial against a now 21-year-old KU student continues for a 2008 incident in which a girl said she was raped. The victim admits to being intoxicated, but says she never invited the man inside. The trial continues Wednesday morning.

August 18, 2009


A prosecutor says a Pratt man raped an intoxicated Kansas University student in a dorm room in March 2008.

“There was no reason to think that she wasn’t safe in that dorm room when her friends put her to sleep that night,” said Amy McGowan, a chief assistant Douglas County district attorney.

But a defense attorney says the female student didn’t want her boyfriend to find out she was sleeping in the same bed with the Pratt man.

“She chose to save face,” defense attorney Sarah Swain said in her opening statement. “In saving face, she changed the defendant’s life forever.”

Jurors in the case will have to sort out the details in the rape trial of the 21-year-old Pratt man this week. They began hearing evidence Tuesday morning.

The female KU student was a freshman who lived in Gertrude Sellards Pearson Residence Hall. The defendant was in Lawrence for the weekend visiting friends who also lived in a room near the female student.

McGowan said the woman was intoxicated that night and friends put her to bed fully clothed in another friend’s room. They later confronted the defendant when they saw him on top of her in the bed.

McGowan said at one point friends of the female student tried to enter the room, but the defendant was blocking the door. The friends later woke up the student, who had no idea what had happened.

“All of that was done not only without her consent but while she was completely unaware while that was happening,” McGowan said.

The prosecutor also said the physical evidence in the case matches the roommates interrupting the defendant in the middle of having sex with the student because his DNA was not found in the sexual assault kit.

But Swain painted a different picture of the night, including the defendant and the female student kissing several times while at a bar and a party. Swain said the female student asked the defendant if he would find her when he returned to the dorm.

“This is a girl who was clearly happy to be spending time with him and doing her best to get his attention,” Swain said.

The defense attorney said the female student gave him permission to sleep in the same bed with her and at one point she asked him if he had a condom. Swain said as her client left the room to get one, he ran into the woman’s friends, who became upset and asked what had happened between the two.

The female student was the state’s first witness Tuesday morning, and she denied giving much attention to the defendant that weekend other than taking one photo with him and kissing him on the cheek.

She said she was in a deep sleep that night and thought she was dreaming when she felt a weight on top of her. She said she briefly awoke to the defendant on top of her with her pants pulled down and her shirt and bra up around her neck.

“I didn’t want him on top of me,” she said as she cried on the stand.

The female student also said she could not tell if he was having sex with her, but her friends were upset and yelling at him.

The defendant originally faced an aggravated burglary charge as well, but prosecutors later dropped that charge. The Journal-World does not generally identify defendants in sex crime cases unless they are convicted.


newsreader 8 years, 6 months ago

How did he get into her room if she was sleeping?

Jersey_Girl 8 years, 6 months ago

Guys, for your own protection, never have sex with a girl drunk off her a. It not only runs the risk of you being accused of rape, but it really shows a complete lack of respect both for that woman and women in general. And most importantly, it's just a really sty thing to do.

brian1981 8 years, 6 months ago

What if some chick has sex with a guy who's hammered? Is that also a s**ty thing to do? Does that show a complete lack of respect for men in general?

notjustastudent 8 years, 6 months ago

Brian1981- I would have to answer yes to your questions. It's just that, well, guys who are so drunk they are pretty much unconscious are pretty much not able to, um, consumate, no matter what the woman tries. So I think Jerseys point was mostly just for guys for that reason.

Michael Capra 8 years, 6 months ago

sarah swain oh god this guy going up the river for sure get another lawyer quick

igby 8 years, 6 months ago

Prefer them sober, myself, puking and passing out is just not any fun.

christie 8 years, 6 months ago

Oh sure - a drunk chick comes on to a guy - asks him to sleep with her - and then cries rape. Cry me a river.

mae 8 years, 6 months ago

;) respect your woman and maybe you'll get it again lovingly lol. I don't like the sound of these friends of hers either. They should've picked up a few guys to break in or called campus police if they meant business. Instead they just allowed a friend to be raped? Rrrrrlllyy???

igby has it right, as does christie and brian.

lgreen17 8 years, 6 months ago

Why doesn't our elected prosecutor, Branson, ever get into the court room?????? This guy always finds a reason not to go to work.

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