Today was the second day the victim testified in the Yale student rape trial. Jane Doe testified that she was raped by Saifullah Khan in her dorm room at Trumbull College on Halloween night. Dorms are called colleges at Yale, as it is done at Cambridge. Jane testified that Khan walked her home after the midnight Halloween concert performed by the Yale Symphony Orchestra.
The victim’s real name is not Jane Doe. The victim is using an alias. She doesn’t want anyone to know her real name, but in court Judge Fischer calls her by her real name. Judge Fischer does not call her Jane Doe. I know her real name, but I’m not telling. If you want to know her real name you are going to have to subscribe to a Larry Noodles gold club membership. All I can tell you is that her name sound foreign, as she was born in Soviet occupied Kyrgyzstan.
For the last two days Jane Doe has been testifying that she was “raped” by Khan the “rapist.” After two days of listening to Jane use the words “rape” and “rapist” attorney Norm Pattis decided to object. Norm told Judge Fischer that these words should be left for closing arguments. Out of the presence of the jury Judge Fischer instructed Jane Doe not to use the words “rape” or “rapist” when referring to Khan. The Judge told her she can use the words “sexually assaulted.” The Judge then discussed some issues of evidence with the lawyers for a brief while. The Judge called in the jury. The State’s attorney started to ask Jane more questions. Jane forgot about the Judge’s instructions and used the word “rapist” again. Norm furiously shook his head and objected. Judge Fischer reminded Jane that she can’t use those words. The State’s attorney then asked Jane about her forensics examination at the Yale Health Center. Jane said they gave her a “rape” kit, but then she remembered that she couldn’t use the word “rape,” so she stuttered, and wasn’t sure whether to call the rape kit the “sexual assault” kit. By this time nobody seemed to care anymore, and the lawyers moved on to other issues.
Jane testified that she was concerned that she was either pregnant or had contracted a sexually transmitted disease from Khan. Jane testified that she asked Khan in a text message whether he had used a condom. Khan said he used protection. But Jane testified that she wasn’t sure if she could trust Khan. Jane went to the Yale Health Center at 8 AM to take a morning after pill and get tested for sexually transmitted diseases. She told the medical staff at Yale Heath that she had “consensual intercourse.” She testified that she was too traumatized to tell strangers at Yale Health that she was sexually assaulted. She said after she got back to her dorm room she discussed what happened with Khan with her friends. She said her friends encouraged her to call the Sexual Harassment & Assault Response & Education center (SHARE). Her friend called SHARE with her on her cell phone. She walked over to SHARE with her friend. An officer from the Yale Police force was at SHARE. A police investigation was opened.
Jane Doe testified that she was highly intoxicated when Khan walked her to her dorm room on Halloween night. She said she expected him to walk her to her dorm and leave. Instead, he barged into her room and sat on the couch with her. She said she vomited on the couch, and the vomit landed on her and on Khan. She said Khan went into the kitchen to wash it off. She said the next thing she remembered was that she was naked in bed with Khan also naked standing next to the bed. She testified that during the night Khan had forced himself on her and inside of her. She said she could remember this even though she was semi conscious. She said Khan picked up some condoms on the floor in the morning and left. He wanted to have breakfast with her. She refused to go to breakfast with him. Instead she texted him and asked him whether he had used protection. He said he did. She then told him in a text that he was “a piece of shit.” Jane testified that she found some condoms in the garbage in the bathroom, which she saved for police officers.
On the night of the sexual assault Jane Doe was wearing a Halloween costume. She went to a party at the Shabtai House, a campus Jewish organization, and then walked to the Halloween concert at Woolsey Hall. The State entered the Halloween costume into evidence. State Prosecutor Pepper showed the jury the costume, and pointed out that there was dried up vomit still on the costume. The costume was a black cat outfit. There was a black sequined tube top that covered most of her torso, a mini skirt, and two black tubes that covered her forearm. There was a little bit of fur along the edges of the costume, and a black tail.
Attorney Norm Pattis began his cross examination of Jane Doe at about 2:30 in the afternoon. By this time Jane was visibly tired from almost two days of testimony. Norm asked her about how she got into Yale, and what was her specialty. Jane testified that she was interested in Slavic literature and belonged to an organization that supported low income families who got into college. She said she was currently trying to get into medical school. She said she took a summer session in Russia. She was born in a Russian occupied country called Kyrgyzstan. Norm told her that she had a lot in common with Khan. Khan was also born in a foreign country and was raised by a poor family in Afghanistan. Jane said she was very different from Khan. She said Khan told her that he was very powerful, he knew the Yale dean, the Yale master, and other important Yalies. She said he was ambitious, boastful, a “name dropper” and “full of himself.” Norm retorted, “That is not uncommon at Yale.” Jane said she was “creeped out” by Khan.
Norm asked Jane whether Khan ever told her that members of Khan’s family were “killed by the Taliban” and that Khan was “raped in a refugee camp in Pakistan.” State’s attorney Pepper jumped up and objected. Judge Fischer sustained the objection and told Norm that these questions were not relevant to the case.
Norm then began to ask Jane Doe questions about the Shabtai Yale Jewish organization run by Rabbi Shmuly Hecht. Jane met Khan at a party at the Shabtai House before she headed over to Woolsey for the Halloween concert. Jane didn’t spend any time with Khan at Shabtai. Khan was collecting tickets at the Shabtai party. Norm said Khan helped organize the party. Norm then asked Jane Doe whether she found it strange that Khan, who is a Muslim from Afghanistan, was a member of a Jewish organization at Yale. Jane said that Khan bragged to her that he joined the Jewish organization because “that’s where all the money is, and Shmuly owns a lot of real estate.”
Norm asked Jane why she needed to get Halloween concert tickets from Khan when the tickets only cost about $5.00. Jane said that when the tickets first go on sale they are only $5, but Yalies purchase blocks of tickets, which they scalp for much higher prices. She said Khan bragged that Shabtai had plenty of extra tickets, as they buy blocks of tickets.
Nobody mentioned that New Jersey US Senator Corey Booker is a founding member of Shabtai. Shabtai was modeled after Yale’s infamous Skull and Bones secret society, of which the Bush former Presidents are proud members. Conspiracy theorists think that Bonesmen control the world and the Illuminati. Conspiracy theorists claim that Shabtai members control all section 8 housing units in the city of New Haven. I don’t believe any of it. I wonder if Corey Booker joined Shabtai because “that’s where all the money is.”
Norm asked Jane Doe about how much alcohol she consumed at Shabtai. She said when she first walked in there was a room with a table of chicken wings and a keg of beer. In the chicken wings room she had two rum and cokes. She moved on to the room where Rabbi Shmuly was passing around a box of cigars. She said she wasn’t a fan of the cigars. She said Shmuly then poured hard liquor from a brown bottle into party goers cups. She couldn’t identify the liquor but she drank a cup. Jane said she left the cigar room and had two glasses of white wine in the main room. All this drinking occurred in the time span of about an hour and a half.
Jane testified that Rabbi Shmuly had “red cheeks, glazed, eyes, and appeared inebriated, slurring his words.” Norm tried to ridicule Jane about a previous comment she made about safe spaces at Yale. He asserted, “Was this a safe space?” Norm also asked Jane whether she had ever met Shmuly in the past. She said she has frequently attended Shabbat dinners at the Shabtai House.
Norm then crossed examined Jane about her Halloween costume. He also asked about the Halloween costumes her friends wore that evening. Jane testified that her friend Tabitha was dressed as a “biker” with a black leather jacket. Norm shouted, “a biker chick??” Jane nodded. Norm then started asking Jane about whether she helped the biker chick put on her makeup. The State objected to such a irrelevant and stupid question. Norm argued to Judge Fischer that biker chicks “don’t wear makeup, why was she putting makeup on her?” The State objected to such a ridiculous argument. I was even tempted to stand up and object, but I decided not to start trouble, at least not until I am off Federal probation. Before Judge Fischer could issue a ruling Jane blurted out, “it was just eyeliner and lipstick.”
The trial will continue for another few days. Norm will probably finish his cross examination of Jane Doe tomorrow. After that the State plans to have Jane’s friends come in and testify about what happened on the night of the sexual assault. If Khan doesn’t testify in his own defense he will most likely lose this case. But if Khan does testify it will not be easy for him to claim that Ms. Doe is a liar. He will go down in flames. He doesn’t have many good choices, other than taking a plea deal, but plea deals offered by the State are confidential in most cases. Khan was charged with four counts of sexual assault. If he is convicted Judge Fischer could send him to jail for a long time.