The rape trial involving former UNC Charlotte quarterback Kevin Olsen began with his accuser taking the stand yesterday.
She had been in a relationship for about a year with Olsen, whose brother is Panther’s player Greg Olsen. She says in February of 2017, after a night of drinking in uptown with Kevin Olsen and friends, she went home with him. She alleges Olsen had a breakdown and was suicidal and attempted to strangle himself with a smartphone charger cable. At one point she says, he began to punch her.
Assistant District Attorney Jane Honeycutt showed jurors pictures of her injuries which included a black eye. "He attacked her with his fists blow after blow to her head, to her arms, to her stomach, to her face," said Honeycutt.
After this, the accuser said Olsen wanted to have sex, although she did not want to. She said she was unable to say no because she was scared.
In the defense’s opening statement, attorney Bree Laughrun urged the jury to listen carefully to all the evidence.
"Pay attention to all the witnesses who are going to get up on the witness stand and tell you what happened. Pay attention carefully to what they tell you. But also pay attention to what they said and did before they even got up on the witness stand," said Laughrun.
As evidence, the defense showed jurors several text message exchanges. One of those exchanges was after the incident between the accuser and a friend. In the exchange, the accuser said “He’s not a rapist.” During her testimony, the accuser said at the time, she didn’t understand how a non-consensual sexual encounter could occur in a consensual relationship.
The defense contends that text exchange states what they believe to be true, that Olsen did not commit a rape. The trial continues today.