Lawrence man raped sleeping woman while a guest at her house, affidavit alleges

photo by: Mike Yoder

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

A Lawrence man reportedly raped a woman who’d allowed him to stay at her house as she slept deeply from ingesting alcohol and sleeping pills, a police affidavit says.

Perry L. Oatis, 54, was arrested at the scene in the early morning hours of May 27, after the woman’s roommate saw him assaulting her and called police.

Oatis was charged the next day in Douglas County District Court with rape for allegedly victimizing a woman who was unconscious or physically powerless. According to the complaint, the victim was 34.

The Journal-World requested the police affidavit in support of Oatis’ arrest, and recently received it from the court.

It says the roommate, who slept on a mattress behind the couch, awoke to see Oatis raping her friend, who was snoring, on the couch. The friend told police she called out to the woman, got no response and went outside to call police. She said Oatis told her to mind her own business.

When officers arrived a few minutes later, Oatis refused to let them in, according to the affidavit. Police forced entry into the home and detained Oatis, whom they described as “uncooperative, sweating profusely” and only wearing boxers.

Police found the victim partially clothed in a back bedroom, according to the affidavit. The victim told officers she remembered drinking at a neighbor’s house, taking a sleeping pill then falling asleep on her couch, clothed. She said she didn’t wake up until police came into the back bedroom.

She said she didn’t know how she got there — though her young son told her he saw Oatis carry her as she slept — or how her clothes had been removed, the affidavit said. She said she had not had sex with Oatis before, didn’t want it and didn’t consent to it.

The victim told police she’d met Oatis a couple of months earlier and allowed him to stay at her place a couple of days earlier because he was currently homeless.

When police interviewed Oatis, he told them he had removed the woman’s clothing and had sex with her, according to the affidavit. He told police that she didn’t verbally consent but that he believed she was consenting because she kissed back.

He said he’d met the woman the day before, according to the affidavit.

A preliminary hearing in the case is scheduled for July 16. According to court and jail records, Oatis remains jailed on $100,000 bond.

Oatis’ appointed attorney, Shaye Downing, declined to comment for this story.

The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office declined to release Oatis’ mugshot to the Journal-World.

Contact Journal-World public safety reporter Sara Shepherd