Saifullah Khan took the hot seat this morning and defended himself against charges that could put him behind bars for many years. When asked for his address he gave his lawyer’s address. He said he doesn’t have a permanent home. He said he was born in a town located on the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan, called Kackaigarray. He got accepted for a scholarship to come to the United States and attend college. Attorney Norm Pattis tried to get Khan to talk about his uncle whose life “came to a violent end” as Norm put it. The State objected. The Judge sustained the objection, the jury would not hear any testimony about how Khan’s uncle got killed by the Taliban.
Khan testified that he met his girlfriend, and alibi witness, Habasa, at the prestigious Hotchkiss Academy. Khan attended Hotchkiss for a year before he was allowed in Yale. Khan testified that he had and “intimate bond” with Habasa, “we had shared experiences, we made jokes.”
When Khan entered Yale as a freshman he didn’t feel at home with the other students. Khan was unfamiliar with American culture. Khan said that he only felt at home at Shabtai. Shabtai was the only place on campus where Khan felt welcome.
Khan was very nervous on the witness stand. Khan’s eyes darted back and forth between Norm Pattis, State’s Attorney Pepper and the jury. In every sentence Khan made sure to add the word “sir” to every sentence. When Khan spoke after the attorneys objected he said, “I am sorry sir” or “I apologize sir.” Khan speaks with a Middle Eastern accent. Khan’s mouth was open the whole time, even when he wasn’t speaking. He had a puppy dog, innocent look on his face the entire time, trying to elicit sympathy. At times he wiped his head with a hanky.
Khan was asked about the Shabtai Challah-wings dinner. Khan testified, “I was the main host for the party, I could only work on it after sundown, because it was Shabbat, I had to rush to get there to set up. I invited 500 people on Facebook, I had a checklist and over 100 people came.” Khan testified that the victim arrived at Shabtai with a group of friends. Khan stated that the victim went into a side room where bourbon was being poured. He said the victim “was having a good time, we had cigars, bourbon and beer.”
Khan testified that the victim left Shabtai and headed for Woolsey with Richard Gayler, Josh and Keni. Keni eventually got so drunk she had to be taken from Woosley in an ambulance. Khan testified that the victim never appeared intoxicated. The victims friends, ie., Keni, Tabitha, Richard and Asia all testified that the victim was hammered out of her mind. The only one who backed up Khan was Rabbi Shmuly Hecht who said the victim didn’t appear intoxicated, but he also testified that someone could be intoxicated and not appear intoxicated.
Khan testified that when the victim got to Woolsey he put his arm around her and she put his arm around him. He said he was “touchy feely at that time, I attempted to touch her shoulder, we were holding hands, she was fine in her seat.” Yale student Annmarie McDaniel, who wasn’t a friend of the victim, had testified that she saw Khan groping the victim in the audience, and the victim recoiling. Annmarie sent a text to the victim’s roommate alerting her to keep an eye on the victim that night.
Khan testified that Richard Gayler moved his seat a few rows back because there was a pillar blocking his view. Khan testified that the victim vomited after Richard moved his seat back. The State on cross tried to get Khan to admit that Richard moved back his seat because he didn’t want to sit near the victim’s vomit. Khan denied it. Rabbi Shmuly testified that he thought Richard moved back a few rows because he was jealous of Khan sitting next to the victim. Shmuly felt bad for Richard so he moved back to sit with Richard. In closing arguments the State asked the jury, “why would Richard move back a few rows, which would give him a better view of the victim and Khan?”
Khan talked about how the victim vomited. Khan said, “She said she wasn’t feeling well, she vomited to the side in the aisle, I was looking for toilet paper to clean up, I asked to borrow toilet paper from a person who was dressed up in a toilet paper costume, and I used this to clean the seat.” This comment got a few laughs in the courtroom. Khan said he told the victim she should go to the bathroom, so he took the victim to the bathroom. Khan said they couldn’t get back into the show after she was in the bathroom, as the doors closed. They walked out of Woolsey and took a stroll “where the dead people are.” Norm clarified that Khan was referring to the cemetery. Khan said he likes to walk in the cemetery. They didn’t actually go in the cemetery, they walked on the sidewalk next to the cemetery. Khan testified that they discussed physics while they took their walk. Khan also said he told the victim “random dumb jokes.”
Khan took the victim to her room and then started to walk to his dorm. Khan said the victim called out to him and told him to come back to her room. Khan testified that the victim “started to take off her clothes, and I started taking off my clothes and tie. She then said she wanted to check on Keni who was drunk at Woolsey and taken away by an ambulance. I was aroused and excited. She was semi dressed and was talking about Keni, and told me to look for Keni. She told me where Keni’s dorm was so I went out and knocked on her door, but couldn’t find Keni. She told me to get condoms. There were free condoms in the laundry room that Yale provided. We sat on the couch, she was sitting on top of me, and she was taking off her clothing, we were kissing and groping, and she was taking off my jacket. I took off my clothes, pants, and my underpants were at my ankles and we were moving towards more intimate activities. She asked me what I wanted her to do, so I told her I wanted her to give me oral sex. She said she would but insisted that I use a condom because she was worried about STDs. She sat on her knees and gave me oral sex. She took breaks, it wasn’t the usual sensation with the condoms. She asked me what I liked. I said I liked it going deep, so she tried giving me deep oral sex, but she gagged and had drool and was out of breath. So she tried again. She looked to her right and vomited. I took a note of the damage. There was a towel and napkins she went to get in the bathroom. I threw the condom to the side of the floor. She told me she felt disgusted and I told her it was ok, it happens, so she took a shower. I called my girlfriend Habasa while she was in the bathroom, and I spoke with Habasa for two hours. We talk every night for a few hours very late. Tonight was a significant night for me as I had a huge party and she wanted to know how it went, plus Habasa had a big biology exam to talk about. Jane Doe asked me who I was talking to on the phone. I told her I was talking to Habasa. I said do you want to say hi to Habasa, and she spoke with Habasa on the phone for 10 seconds. My phone died. I went into the bed and we were cuddling and spooning. We undressed and we became intimate again. She asked me if I had a condom and I said I do have a second condom. We had sex. I am generous to say it was more than 30 seconds. After I ejaculate I cannot think. I can’t think much, I am out of it. I moved to my left near the window and hit my shoulder against a radiator and felt a weird sensation of cold air and hot air, part of my body was hot and part of it was cold. I rolled and stumbled on the floor and threw the condom away. I was knocked out and went to the couch and fell asleep. I was woken up with a slap. She was angry with me that we had sex and said she didn’t want anyone to know. She said you are going to tell everyone you know, and I said no. It was about 6 AM, and I got my clothes on. She told me not to talk about it, not to tell two of her friends. On Sunday at 2 PM she sent me a text message that I was a piece of shit. I haven’t spoken with her since.”
On cross examination State’s Attorney Pepper tried to get Khan to explain why his version of events was completely different than the chain of events described by the victim, Richard, Tabitha, Annemarie, Asia, and Keni. Khan said the victim was sober. Everyone else testified that the victim was completely drunk. The victim testified that she vomited three times that night because she was drunk. Khan testified that the victim vomited only two times that night, once at Woolsey and once in her room because she gagged on his shmeckle. Khan testified that she wasn’t drunk the first time she vomited, she just may have been a bit ill. The State wanted to know why Khan would continue to hug and kiss a girl who had vomit mouth. I heard of toilet mouth, but vomit mouth?
On cross examination the State wanted to know why Khan didn’t go into his dorm room at Trumbull College to speak with his girlfriend Habasa after he had sex with the victim. Would the victim not be upset that Khan was talking to his girlfriend on the phone right in the victim’s room? Khan conceded that he could have went to his dorm room, which was 150 feet away. He said he stayed in the victim’s room because he was “lazy.”
Why would Khan put the victim on the phone with his girlfriend Habasa after he just had sex? Something doesn’t make sense. When Habasa testified yesterday she entered an exhibit, which was a screenshot of a record of the phone call she had on her computer. She didn’t have any original documents from the phone company. She didn’t have the original phone. During closing arguments Norm asked the jury to consider the flimsy evidence even though the phone numbers did not exactly match.
Khan made up the story about the victim gagging on his shmeckle in order to explain why the victim had a rash on her throat when she was examined at Yale New Haven Health. The victim could not explain why she had this rash. The nurse couldn’t explain it. Khan was the only one who could explain it. The nurse should have been asked whether Khan’s shmeckle is a common cause of throat rashes at Yale.
Attorney Storming Norm Pattis delivered his closing argument to the jury on behalf of Khan. Norm shamelessly launched into a full blown attack against the victim. Attorney William Ward did the same thing in his closing argument in the Rabbi Greer the Goat child rape trial. That strategy didn’t go so well for Mr. Ward.
Stormin Norm’s closing argument was interrupted by a juror’s cell phone playing the Eric Clapton tune “Layla.” Norm cracked a few jokes about the phone, but he was speaking so fast nobody knew what he said.
Norm said that the victim was a “wallflower” not a “party girl” who didn’t have much sexual experience, as she “testified that she only had sexual relationships with a couple of guys, a boyfriend from high school and another guy.”
Norm said that the victim met Khan at a lecture entitled “The Seven Elements of Story Telling” and that the victim was good at making up stories.
Norm brought out some plastic cups he entered into evidence and waved the cups around and said, “focus on the cups, she said she had five big drinks in 90 minutes, she is 5’4″ and 120 pounds, don’t believe it.”
Norm said not to believe the word of a self intoxicated drunk, who was enamored by a big man on campus.
Norm took a swipe at the State for objecting to some of Norm’s questions during the trial. Norm bellowed: “They said OBJECT, OBJECT, OBJECT, the State wanted to wear me out!” How dare another attorney object to Norm Pattis.
Norm mocked Yale for providing condoms in the laundry room. Colleges all over this country provide condoms all over campus. Welcome to the 21st century Norm.
Norm bellowed: “The victim wants the nail to be driven into my client’s coffin, and have the consequences that you are not supposed to think about.” Norm isn’t supposed to comment about the Defendant’s punishment in closing argument, but the State didn’t object.
Norm even lashed out at his own witness, Rabbi Shmuly Hecht, whom Norm called to testify: “The Rabbi was a very disappointing witness, if that’s what passes for leadership I don’t know who the hell is following him.”
Norm launched into an attack against Yale. Norm shouted: “Shame on Yale! The kabal of people from Sexual Harassment and Assault Response and Education Center, trying to create a politically correct garden. This is not about sexual assault in the media, or what you read about, in today’s environment it is impossible to try a sexual assault case, if I had this case a year ago it would be a lot easier. When I was in college we didn’t have all these majors called gender sexuality studies, we had math, science, English…”
Norm addressed whether he offended some of the jurors during the trial: “I giggled when Keni testified about getting drunk, and some of you looked at me disapprovingly. I apologize, don’t hold it against my client.”
Norm tried to explain why the victim vomited three times: “We don’t know what caused the vomit, whether it was from a drink, food poisoning or a passing bug.”
Norm spoke about Habasa: “If we are going to find an alibi witness don’t you think we could have come up with someone better than Habasa. Do you think it was easy for Habasa to come here and testify about having an open relationship with my client?”
Norm finished up his rant: “Some day you may be on the other end of the Government based on the word of a self intoxicated inebriated woman. The community is watching. The world is watching. If Yale only cared enough for the accused as much as the victim, all Yale cares about is the Title IX money they get from the government.”
State’s Attorney Pepper gave his rebuttal to Norm’s rant. Pepper started by talking about Rabbi Shmuly Hecht: “I don’t like to disparage a member of the clergy, but the Defendant called him as a witness. The clergy are human, they put on their pants and shoes like everyone else. The Defendant went to the Rabbi because he knew the Rabbi was influential on campus, and the Rabbi contacted the powers that be. The rabbi said he wasn’t drinking on direct examination, but when shown his statements he gave to the police he admitted that he had a couple of shots.” Pepper further said of Rabbi Shmuly: “The Rabbi threw his friend Richard Gayler under the bus for the Defendant.”
The State concluded it’s rebuttal by asking the jury, “what’s in it for the victim to come here and testify for two and a half days revealing intimate details of her life? If the victim had a nefarious motive to testify wouldn’t she give you a better story, a more coherent story? What’s the victim’s motive to make up a false claim? What’s Richard Gayler’s motive to come back here to New Haven to stick it to the Defendant? Richard Gayler and the victim haven’t seen each other in two years.”
Norm asked Judge Fischer if he could make a two minute rebuttal to the State’s rebuttal. Fischer allowed Norm to speak. Norm looked at the jury and then turned to the spectators and pointed his finger at me, and bellowed, “The motive for the victim to make this false claim is sitting right there, the victim’s rights lawyer!” Everyone turned and looked at me. I am not a victim’s rights lawyer. My license to practice law is suspended. Norm must have used me as part of his closing argument. Norm should pay me for my role as an extra in the horror show of a defense that he put on for Khan. Part of me hopes that Khan gets acquitted because he had such bad legal representation. The other half of me is sympathetic to the victim. I thought she was highly credible. Her friends who testified were also very credible and believable. Khan’s story is so off the wall that the jury would have to believe that the victim, at least five other witnesses, police officers, and the State of Connecticut conspired to get Khan convicted.
The judge charged the jury this afternoon. The jury will start deliberations tomorrow….