Rape trial begins for man accused of leading intoxicated high school girl away from Lawrence college bar

photo by: Douglas County Sheriff's Office

Albert N. Wilson

Story updated: 5:28 p.m. Monday, Jan. 7, 2019.

A jury was selected Monday to hear the trial of a Lawrence man accused of leading an intoxicated teen away from a college bar and raping her at his home a few blocks away.

Opening arguments are scheduled to begin Tuesday morning, with the trial expected to last all week.

Albert N. Wilson, 23, is charged with two counts of rape in connection with the September 2016 incident, which began at the Jayhawk Cafe, known as the Hawk, at 1340 Ohio St.

Following Wilson’s preliminary hearing in November 2017, Douglas County District Court Judge Sally Pokorny ordered him bound over for trial on two counts of rape — one from an allegation that he lifted the teen’s skirt and assaulted her inside the bar without consent, and one from the allegation that he then raped the teen at his home in the 1300 block of Kentucky Street.

Evidence showed the teen was intoxicated enough that she was unable to consent, and that would have been apparent to Wilson, Pokorny said after hearing the victim testify at the preliminary hearing. The victim also testified that she repeatedly said “no” to Wilson, Pokorny said.

At Wilson’s preliminary hearing, the alleged victim tearfully described the night as a “blur.”

She was 17 at the time, and in high school in the Kansas City area. She’d come to Lawrence that night to visit her cousin, a University of Kansas student.

They were drinking with some other women before going to the Hawk, where the teen said she wasn’t carded. She said she was stumbling and didn’t have “control” of herself, and hadn’t been drunk like that before.

Wilson approached her inside the bar, and they started talking and moved to another area, away from her cousin, she said. He kissed her and then assaulted her, she said.

Wilson then asked her if she wanted to come to his place and spend the night. She 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 at the preliminary hearing. “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.

The incident happened between the night of Sept. 10 and early morning hours of Sept. 11, 2016.

The victim previously testified that the next day she told her mother what happened and went to a hospital for a sexual assault exam, which included photos of bruising to her thighs.

She reported the incident to Lawrence police on Oct. 5, 2016. Wilson was charged on Oct. 11, 2017.

The victim didn’t know Wilson, but told police she thought her assailant’s first name was Albert and gave them a physical description, according to an affidavit prepared by detectives.

Police used bar surveillance footage, driver’s license and cell phone information of a man Wilson went to the bar with, and eventually Wilson’s address and driver’s license photo to identify him as the suspect. They also collected evidence for forensic testing.

Wilson is free on $75,000 bond, posted after his preliminary hearing in 2017, according to court records.

Wilson’s appointed attorney is Forrest Lowry.

Amy McGowan is prosecuting the case for the Douglas County District Attorney’s Office.

Jury selection lasted all day Monday, with a jury of nine women and three men plus one female alternate chosen at the end of the day.

More coverage

Jan. 10, 2019 — Jury finds man guilty of raping teen he met at Lawrence college bar, unable to agree on other count

Jan. 9, 2019 — Defendant at trial: ‘She didn’t seem intoxicated at all … I didn’t rape her’

Jan. 8, 2019 — At trial of Lawrence man, woman describes being raped as teen, devastation that followed

Jan. 7, 2019 — Rape trial begins for man accused of leading intoxicated high school girl away from Lawrence college bar

Nov. 22, 2017 — Judge orders man accused of raping teen he met at college bar to stand trial

Nov. 9, 2017 — Affidavit allegation: Man raped drunken teen after leading her away from Lawrence college bar

Contact Journal-World public safety reporter Sara Shepherd