Jurors watch rape suspect’s video interview
Jurors saw video Thursday of a man admitting his alleged rape victim was briefly passed out while the two had sex.
Kristopher Wilson, 24, a former Dakota Wesleyan University student-athlete, was shown in a video of a police interview. The video was played during the second day of his trial at the Davison County Courthouse in Mitchell. He is accused of third-degree rape for an incident Jan. 20, 2013. The charge carries a maximum sentence upon conviction of 25 years in prison and a $50,000 fine.
Mitchell Police Division Investigator Joel Reinesch was on the witness stand the entire day, much of which was spent watching his videotaped interviews with the alleged victim and Wilson. There was no lawyer present during the interviews with Wilson or the alleged victim, but she was accompanied by her father.
“I’m certain you didn’t hold her down and rape her in the textbook thought of rape,” Reinesch told Wilson in the video interview. “But there’s no question she was intoxicated to the point where she had no clue what was going on.”
Although the 19-year-old woman, a DWU student, was named in open court and appeared in the video, The Daily Republic typically does not name alleged victims of sex crimes. According to testimony of both the woman and Wilson, they were together much of the early morning hours of Jan. 20, 2013, at a house party and then at DWU dorms. The woman testified Wednesday that she passed out on Wilson’s couch in his dorm room and later woke up to him on top of her having sex with her.
“After my interview with (the woman), my next step was to contact Terry Lundeen, director of resident life at DWU,” Reinesch testified in court. “He took me places on campus that I needed to go.”
That included Wilson’s dorm room, where Reinesch interviewed Wilson. Wilson consented to a search of his apartment, during which Reinesch confiscated a blanket that was on the couch. Wilson agreed to go to the police station for an interview.
The jury heard Wilson’s side of the story on the video, and many details matched the woman’s version of events. Wilson said he and the woman met at a school dance the night of Jan. 19, exchanged phone numbers, went to a house party in the early morning of Jan. 20, drank alcohol together and went back to the dorms.
However, Wilson said the woman was not falling down drunk — instead he said she was intoxicated, but functioning. He said they went from the house party to his dorm room where they had sex.
“It just happened,” Wilson said in the video interview.
He said the two visited on the couch for about 30 minutes, then kissed before having sex one time.
“She didn’t say stop,” Wilson said in the video.
When the victim and Wilson woke up, it was light out and they went to her dorm room to find his phone, Wilson said in the video.
Soon Wilson’s story changed as he became increasingly agitated on the video.
Partway through playing video Thursday in court, Deputy State’s Attorney Bob O’Keefe paused it to ask why Reinesch had left the interrogation room during the interview.
“At this point in the interview, I was confused on his timeline and version of events,” Reinesch said. “He said once they left the party, they went directly up to his dorm room.”
Reinesch said the rest of his investigation showed the victim and Wilson went to the victim’s room first — not Wilson’s room — and that the victim had been extremely intoxicated to the point of not being able to walk on her own.
During the video interview, Reinesch confronted Wilson about these items and Wilson backtracked. Reinesch told Wilson he saw surveillance footage from DWU dorm entrances and hallways that show how intoxicated the victim was. Wilson changed his story, saying they did go to the victim’s room first and he had to help the victim up the stairs.
Reinesch reiterated the victim passed out during sex, which Wilson adamantly denied at first.
Eventually, Wilson said in the video the victim passed out for about one minute while they had sex, but insisted she was still functioning. He said he felt bad about the incident and texted her the evening of Jan. 20 to see if she remembered the night before.
The video ended with Wilson speaking to his mother on the phone about his arrest for third-degree rape. Only Wilson’s side of the conversation could be heard on the video.
“I don’t know why I’m getting arrested. She was all over me,” Wilson said in the video. “I didn’t rape her. She wasn’t passed out. She was going along with it.”
Wilson has so far not testified in the trial. It will resume at 9 a.m. today.