Lawrence man sexually assaulted sleeping woman after night out, affidavit alleges

photo by: Mike Yoder

The Douglas County Judicial and Law Enforcement Center, 111 E. 11th St.

After a night of heavy drinking among a small group of acquaintances, a woman went to bed with her boyfriend but awoke hours later to another man raping her, according to a police affidavit.

The woman called police right after the September 2018 incident. Following an investigation that included waiting on lab results from the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, 22-year-old Lawrence resident Gregory E. Esquivel was charged and arrested in May of this year.

He is charged in Douglas County District Court with one count of rape, a felony, for allegedly assaulting the 22-year-old woman when she was unconscious or physically powerless.

According to the affidavit by a Lawrence Police Department detective, which the Journal-World requested and recently obtained from the court:

That Saturday night, Esquivel came over to the apartment where the woman lived with her boyfriend and another man. After drinking there, the group took an Uber out, drank at a couple of bars and got some food.

After Ubering back to the apartment, the woman said she vomited in the bathroom from drinking too much, then went to sleep with her boyfriend in their room. She said she last remembered locking the bedroom door, as she usually did.

Esquivel and the roommate fell asleep elsewhere in the apartment.

About 5 a.m., the woman told police, she awoke and saw the bedroom door was open. She initially thought it was her boyfriend with his arm over her, but turned and realized it was Esquivel sexually assaulting her. He appeared to have fallen asleep during the act, the affidavit says.

The woman told police she removed his hand, got up in a state of “panic” and had to try several times to rouse her boyfriend, whom she found asleep on the couch, and roommate, by pounding on his door.

As they kicked out Esquivel, the woman called police. Police interviewed her further later that morning, after she completed a sex assault exam at the hospital. The boyfriend and roommate corroborated the parts of the evening they were awake for.

When interviewed by police a few days later, Esquivel said he fell asleep at the apartment after drinking and awoke around 5 a.m.

He told police that when he saw the boyfriend asleep on the couch and the woman asleep on the bed, he got into bed with the woman, put his arm around her and tried to kiss her. He told police he recalled her trying to push him away and assumed she “was still ‘sleepy’ and not processing things.” He told police that when she told him to “stop,” he complied and she then left the bedroom.

Esquivel told police he “might” have touched the woman over her clothing but denied raping her.

According to the affidavit, the KBI’s testing of her sex assault kit to determine whether Esquivel’s DNA was present was inconclusive.

Esquivel’s attorney, Michael Clarke, declined to comment on the affidavit’s allegations for this story.

Esquivel’s bond was initially set at $35,000. Court records indicate he’s since been released from jail on a $50,000 personal recognizance bond, with pre-trial supervision.

Contact Journal-World public safety reporter Sara Shepherd