Critics Cry Foul After Former University of Kansas Student Gets 12-Year Sentence for Raping Teen He Reportedly Never Had Sex With

0
6821

A former University of Kansas student will spend the next 12 years behind bars for the alleged rape of a young woman he met at a bar near campus.

On April 3, a judge sentenced Albert Wilson to 12 years in prison, and a lifetime of probation for the September 2016 incident involving him and another underage student, the Lawrence Journal-World reported. He must also register as a sex offender upon his release.

Albert Wilson, 23, acknowledged engaging in other sex acts with the young woman but said the two never has sexual intercourse. (Photo: Facebook)

The sentencing comes years after Wilson, 23, attended the JayHawk Cafe with a friend, where he met the then-17-year-old girl. Both were underage at the time; Wilson was 20 years old and used his friend’s ID to get into the popular college spot. The young woman was a high school student from the Kansas City area, in town visiting a cousin.

The two reportedly met in line as they headed to dance floor in the crowded basement of the local bar.

The teen, who acknowledged having a few drinks beforehand, testified that Wilson had lifted her skirt and assaulted her as they danced. The pair then “stumbled” out of the bar and back to Wilson’s apartment, which was only a couple blocks away.

The victim claimed Wilson held her down, despite her protests, and raped her. Wilson, a KU student at the time, admitted to engaging in other sexual acts with the young woman but claimed the two never had intercourse. He also testified that the teen wasn’t drunk and never rebuffed his advances.

Both parties acknowledged that consent was never verbalized, nor did they ask for each other’s ages.

“It was a chance meeting. Obviously my client misread what was going on,” Wilson’s lawyer, Forrest Lowry, told the court. “If there was ever a case that deserved a departure of any kind, I think this is it.”

According to the Journal-World, the victim, 17, underwent a sexual assault evaluation at the hospital the day after the alleged assault, during which a nurse took photos of bruises on her inner thighs. The same nurse, because of the girl’s age, reported the incident Kansas Department for Children and Families, which in turn first notified police of the girl’s encounter with Wilson.

Police, after weeks of trying to contact the teen, would eventually interview her a month after her encounter with Wilson. Wilson went to authorities on his own volition about two months after the incident. Charges would not be filed until a full year after the incident.

At trial, technicians with the Kansas Bureau of Investigation testified that Wilson’s DNA was found on the young woman’s chest from where he kissed her, but found no seminal fluid on her clothes or vagina. Still, scientists said that wasn’t enough to prove that no sexual intercourse had occurred.

Wilson, who’s African-American, testified that he didn’t remember much of what happened that night but insisted he did not rape anyone. The alleged victim in the case is white. She did not attend last week’s sentencing.

At trial, the aspiring sports journalist told Judge Sally Pokorkny he felt the police were against him from the jump because of his skin color, despite his cooperation with their investigation.

“I don’t know how to explain this, but I come from a different background than you, ma’am,” Wilson told Pokorny, who’s also white. “I just felt like the police [were] against me at that point.”

After a six-hour deliberation, an all-white jury convicted Wilson of rape. The former KU student was handed the lowest end of what’s called for by sentencing guidelines for rape, the Journal-World reported.

The verdict stunned folks across the country, sparking national outcry over the harshness of the sentence. Some quickly began calling the victim’s story into question, especially after surveillance video showed the two returning to the bar just 15 minutes after leaving for Wilson’s apartment.

At trial, Wilson estimated that they were only in his room for five minutes.

Several critics took to social media to weigh in.

“My heart is heavy tonight. This is the most pain i have felt in a long time.,” one Twitter user wrote. “The world we live in is so cruel. Please, pray for Albert Wilson and his family. Please.”

“How does the jury convict of rape when a physical vaginal exam was done shortly after alleged crime and showed no DNA?,” wrote another. “And when surveillance video appears to counter her version that she was stumbling, incoherent, and led away? All-white…”

Other critics couldn’t help but compare Wilson’s case to that of Brock Turner, the white Stanford University swimmer who served just three-months of his six-month sentence after sexually assaulting an unconscious woman.

“It’s because he’s black. Brock Turner walked. There is an issue here,” one user pointed out.

“Crazy sentence for this situation. Feels like he had a bad lawyer,” another chimed in. “He would have been found not guilty if he was a Stanford swimmer.”

“That’s not right!” another exclaimed. “No previous criminal history & there was no evidence! The judge jumped to conclusions & I think race was part of it! 12 years was too harsh for something he probably didn’t do! And, what was a 17 yr old doing in a bar anyway! Stupid!”

[wpdevart_facebook_comment ]