At trial, woman says man accused of raping her kept appearing in her daily life for years afterward

photo by: Chris Conde/Journal-World

Kalim Akeba Lloyd Dowdell at his trial on Sept. 19, 2023, in Douglas County District Court. Dowdell was accused of raping a woman when she was asleep after the two had spent the evening drinking together.

At a trial for a man accused of raping a woman in her sleep, the woman testified Tuesday that the man regularly appeared in her daily life for years after the incident, and it affected her mental health to the point where she sought a protective order against him.

The trial for 26-year-old Kalim Akeba Lloyd Dowdell, of Lawrence, began Monday. He is charged in Douglas County District Court with one count of rape of a person who could not consent due to intoxication or because she was unconscious, according to charging documents. The charges are in connection with an incident on Aug. 25, 2018.

photo by: Contributed

Senior Assistant District Attorney David Greenwald

On the trial’s first day, Senior Assistant District Attorney David Greenwald said the woman, who was a freshman at the University of Kansas in 2018, met Dowdell at a sorority party and the two went to a local bar that same night before going back to her dorm. Greenwald said Dowdell and the woman kissed while at the dorm but the woman declined to have sex with him and went to sleep. She later awoke to find that Dowdell was naked and on top of her, Greenwald said.

The woman reported the incident to Lawrence police in September of 2020, and she testified Tuesday about why she went to police at that time.

She said that in the two years after she met Dowdell, she would see him around sometimes when she was at school and out in public places. Around 2020, she testified, she started seeing him near her apartment complex, and it was affecting her mental health. At one point, she testified, Dowdell was driving around in the parking lot of her apartment complex while she and her mother were in the parking lot, circling them multiple times and staring at them.

“It was making it worse,” the woman said.

She testified that she had not reported the incident to police in the past because she “just wanted it to go away” and that it was too “scary” to report what happened.

“I wanted to pretend it never happened,” she said.

But seeing Dowdell near her home started weighing on her, she testified, and in September 2020 she went to Lawrence police to make a rape report and to get a protective order against him. Lawrence police directed her to make a report to the KU police department, which she did, and the KU police handled the investigation.

The woman testified that Dowdell would also contact her occasionally on social media, and Dowdell’s attorney, Adam Hall, asked the woman whether Dowdell had ever threatened her with violence in those communications. She replied that he never made any specific threats, but that “he raped me; who knows what else he could do?”

On the same day that Dowdell was charged with rape, he was also charged with a felony count of stalking and a misdemeanor count of violating a protective order. However, those charges were dismissed in October 2022 after the court ruled that Dowdell did not know there was a protective order in place, according to court records. The state has appealed the court’s ruling, and that appeal is still pending.

The woman testified that she eventually moved out of Lawrence, in part because she kept seeing Dowdell near her home and in other places.

Also testifying on Tuesday were two therapists who treated the woman after the incident. Both said that the woman sought mental health services specifically in response to being sexually assaulted.

A KU police detective who interviewed the woman, Todd Carpenter, also testified about the reporting of sexual assault cases. He said in many cases, a person who has been sexually assaulted won’t report the incident immediately — it can take days, weeks or even years in some cases. He said that in these cases, much of the evidence that would support the person’s claim is unavailable, and the statements of the person reporting and other people they’ve told about the incident are often the only things police have to go on. Carpenter also said that during his interview with the woman, her account of the events didn’t change.

After Carpenter testified, the state rested its case. Dowdell’s trial is set to resume on Wednesday morning, when the defense will have the opportunity to present its own witnesses. It was not clear on Tuesday whether Dowdell planned to testify.

Dowdell is currently free on a $50,000 surety bond.

photo by: Chris Conde/Journal-World

Kalim Akeba Lloyd Dowdell, left, is pictured with his defense attorney, Adam Hall, Monday, Sept. 19, 2023, in Douglas County District Court.