Judge orders man accused of raping teen he met at college bar to stand trial
photo by: Mike Yoder
After hearing a teen tearfully describe the “blur” of a night on which she said she was led away from a Lawrence bar and raped, a judge ordered the accused man to stand trial on not one but two counts of rape.
The incident happened in September 2016, and 21-year-old Albert N. Wilson of Lawrence was charged Oct. 11 in Douglas County District Court.
On Tuesday, following Wilson’s preliminary hearing, Judge Sally Pokorny ordered him bound over for trial on two counts of rape — the original count, from the allegation that he raped the teen at his home, and an additional count, from the allegation that he lifted her skirt and assaulted her inside the bar without consent.
Evidence showed the teen was intoxicated enough that she was unable to consent, and such inability would have been apparent to Wilson, the judge ruled.
The teen repeatedly said “no” to Wilson, the judge said. Based on the teen’s level of intoxication and Wilson being larger than her, “she had no way to actively resist, or to get away from him,” the judge said.
photo by: Douglas County Sheriff's Office
Wilson, through his appointed attorney Forrest Lowry, pleaded not guilty.
The judge scheduled a jury trial for April 30.
The alleged victim — 17 then, 18 now — was the only person who testified at Tuesday’s preliminary hearing.
She said she lived in the Kansas City area and was in high school at the time. She was in Lawrence visiting her cousin, a University of Kansas student.
That night, she went with her cousin and some of her sorority sisters to a fraternity house — she didn’t know which one — and drank for a couple hours before going to the Jayhawk Cafe, 1340 Ohio St.
At the bar, she didn’t get carded, she said. She said she went in with a group of women and thought maybe one of them knew someone who worked there.
At the bar, someone handed her a drink, she said. She said she took a couple sips and gave it away, because she realized she was already too drunk. She said she couldn’t stand up very well, was stumbling and didn’t have “control” of herself.
When asked by the prosecutor whether she’d ever been drunk before, the teen answered, “not like that.”
Inside the bar, Wilson approached her, and they started talking and moved to another area, she said. He kissed her and then assaulted her, she said.
“I never said yes, or that I wanted that,” she said. “I was really drunk. I just, kind of, was there.”
Prosecutor Amy McGowan asked the teen to describe where in the bar she encountered Wilson, and the teen said it was hard for her to say exactly. She’d never been there before.
“Is it the Boom Boom Room?” she said. “It’s the really dark room … really, really dark.”
The teen said Wilson asked her if she wanted to come to his place and spend the night. The teen said no, that she needed to find her cousin, but that Wilson persisted and convinced her to come with him outside to call the cousin, and then to come to his home.
She said he led her, stumbling, to a house several blocks away from the bar and then up the stairs there.
“I think I realized that the intentions weren’t to get me help,” she said. “I just started saying, ‘No, I’m too drunk, I can’t do this, I’m too drunk, I can’t do this.'”
Upstairs, she said, she sat on the bed, felt too dizzy to get up and just “froze.” She said after Wilson raped her, she tried to collect herself, went downstairs and walked as fast as she could to “get somewhere with people.”
She said Wilson followed her out, told her she was going the wrong way to the Hawk, then walked with her back to the bar before disappearing.
Outside the bar, feeling panicked, she reunited with her cousin, she said. She spent the night in the dorm with her cousin.
Home the next day, she said she told her mother what happened and went to a hospital for a sexual assault exam, which included photos of bruising to her thighs.
In asking the judge to dismiss the charges against his client, Lowry said, “There’s no evidence that she was forced to do this.”
Lowry said the teen continued to stay with Wilson in the bar and to his home, and had the presence of mind to communicate with him.
In cross-examining the teen, Lowry asked her whether Wilson “forced” or threatened her.
“I’d said no multiple times, I’d made it very clear,” she said. “I didn’t think I could do anything.”