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Olsen Defense Questions How Nurse Examined His Accuser

Matt Walsh
Charlotte Observer

Two defense witnesses were called to the stand Friday in the rape trial of Kevin Olsen.

The first was Dr. Bonnie Price, a sexual assault nurse examiner. Price reviewed the sexual assault exam that was done by the nurse who examined Olsen’s accuser. She testified that it lacked documentation and questioned why certain samples were not collected, and that she was unsure why some injuries were noted in writing but not photographed.

Price testified she would have liked Torres to have taken an anal swab and tested for sexually transmitted infections. Torres had testified those steps were skipped because the patient said it was not an anal assault and that the patient did not think she needed to be tested for sexually transmitted infections. Price said there could have been important evidence gathered during those steps that the patient wasn’t aware of.

Price also questioned how Torres carried out a technique that involves dye to detect possible lacerations during the pelvic exam. Torres had documented a laceration during her exam of Olsen's accuser

Price testified she couldn’t tell if Torres placed the dye in the right area to detect broken skin.  If she applied the dye to the wrong area, Price said the dye could give a false positive reaction, making it look like there was broken skin or a possible injury.

In cross-examining Price, Assistant District Attorney Jane Honeycutt asked questions about how memory works in cases involving sexual assault.

Honeycutt asked Price if it’s common for a sexual assault survivor to have gaps in memory and inconsistencies in their recollections. Price said it is.

Honeycutt also made a point of asking if it's common for a victim who is frightened during a traumatic event to freeze and not be able to fight off an attacker. Price said it is common.

“Their body responding that way [freezing], doesn’t necessary mean that they wanted what they got, correct?” Honeycutt asked.

“Correct,” Price said.

The defense asked several questions digging at the credibility of Olsen’s accuser. The defense has repeatedly brought up a spring break trip that was discussed by Olsen’s accuser and one of her friends after the assault.

Defense attorney George Laughrun has questioned how someone could be traumatized by a sexual assault and still be planning a beach trip in text messages.

In one of his last questions to Price. he asked: “Have you ever known a sexual assault victim to plan a beach trip within 24 hours of an assault?”

Price paused, looking confused by the question: “No, sir. I wouldn’t ask that.”

Laughrun pressed further.

“That would be an usual activity for a victim of assault would it not, to be worried about going to the beach with friends?”

“I don’t know that I’m in a position to judge,” Price quickly responded.

Olsen and his accuser were in a troubled year-long relationship when she says he raped her in February of 2017 after a night of drinking uptown. Olsen is charged with three counts of second degree rape and one count of sexual offense.

Text messages were a big topic of discussion Friday. Clark Walton, a cyber security forensic expert, testified for the defense. He examined and reviewed incoming and outgoing communication from Olsen’s former girlfriend’s phone. Both the defense and prosecution referenced various exchanges where either the defendant or accuser used profanity or threatening language.

Court recessed until Monday morning. Next week the defense will announce whether Kevin Olsen will testify.

Sarah Delia is a Senior Producer for Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins. Sarah joined the WFAE news team in 2014. An Edward R. Murrow Award-winning journalist, Sarah has lived and told stories from Maine, New York, Indiana, Alabama, Virginia and North Carolina. Sarah received her B.A. in English and Art history from James Madison University, where she began her broadcast career at college radio station WXJM. Sarah has interned and worked at NPR in Washington DC, interned and freelanced for WNYC, and attended the Salt Institute for Radio Documentary Studies.