Trial begins for accused rapist
The victim of an alleged rape said Wednesday that Kristopher Wilson had sex with her while she was unconscious from drinking too much alcohol in January 2013.
Wilson, 24, a former Dakota Wesleyan University basketball player who was a student at the time of the incident, is on trial at the Davison County Courthouse in Mitchell. He is accused of third-degree rape, which carries a maximum penalty upon conviction of 25 years in prison and a $50,000 fine.
A 13-person jury — 12 jury members and an alternate — was selected Wednesday morning and the trial began in the afternoon.
Wilson’s attorney is Phil Carlson, of Mitchell.
“Watch for holes in this, the evidence that isn’t there,” Carlson told jurors during his opening statement. “Be mindful of what’s not present.”
Deputy Davison County State’s Attorney Bob O’Keefe said in his opening statement that in the early morning hours of Jan. 20, 2013, Wilson was on top of the victim having sex with her while she was unconscious. He said the jury would later see videotaped police interviews with Wilson in which he admitted he had sex with the victim and admitted she was unconscious at times, but he claimed it was consensual.
The alleged victim is a 19-year-old DWU student-athlete. Though her identity was revealed Wednesday during the trial and she testified in open court, The Daily Republic is withholding her name pursuant to its policy on alleged victims of sex crimes.
She testified under questioning from Davison County State’s Attorney Jim Miskimins about the night and early morning hours of Jan. 19-20, 2013.
She said she met Wilson the first time the evening of Jan. 19, 2013, at a dance held in the Sherman Center on the DWU campus. They exchanged phone numbers and later met up, she said.
She had three to four alcoholic drinks before hanging out with Wilson, she said. Along with another woman, they went to a house party where they continued to drink.
She said this was the first time she’d ever been drunk. Before attending the house party, the victim said Wilson put an unknown liquid — probably alcohol, she said — in her empty pop bottle. She drank about half of that drink while at the house party, at which she played three drinking games, she said.
By the time she left the house in the early morning hours of Jan. 20, 2013, she said she could barely walk.
When they returned to campus, Wilson went with the alleged victim to her dorm room, she said. Her roommate and the roommate’s boyfriend were sleeping.
“I didn’t want to disturb my roommate and her boyfriend,” she said.
Shortly thereafter, Wilson and the woman went to Wilson’s dorm room across campus where she passed out on his couch and eventually woke up to Wilson having sex with her, she said.
“I told him ‘No, no, no,’ and tried to get him off me, but I couldn’t,” she testified, appearing upset. “Then I passed out again.”
She said she woke up a little later and Wilson was having sex with her again.
“Then I closed my eyes and I still felt everything,” she said, crying. “I couldn’t move or talk or do anything.”
The next day, she told a friend about what happened and they went to the emergency room at Avera Queen of Peace Hospital in Mitchell.
The medical staff performed sexual assault tests on the victim, including taking blood, swabs and pictures. Mitchell Public Safety Department Investigator Joel Reinesch also interviewed the victim at the hospital.
The trial resumes at 9:30 a.m. today at the Davison County Courthouse and is scheduled to continue through Friday.