The rape case against Yale student Saifullah Khan went on all day today. A young man named Richard Gayler testified most of the day about what he saw, what he heard, and what he did on the evening that Jane Doe alleges that she was raped by Saifullah Khan. Richard graduated from Yale a few months ago in December of 2017. Richard’s testimony could determine whether Khan is sent to prison or set free.
Richard testified that he makes his living playing high stakes poker. An internet search reveals that Richard is not only a professional poker player, but also a professional video gamer, with sponsors. Richard’s nickname is “Eifer” which means “zeal” in German. Richard’s nickname is not as cool as “Larry Noodles.” I don’t believe Richard got his nickname while he was locked up in Federal prison.
Richard first met Defendant Khan at Yale when they played a game of chess together. My on line research of Khan has revealed that Khan is a top chess player. A master video gamer and a master chess player going head to head at Yale.
Richard was examined by Connecticut Prosecutor Michael Pepper. The State prosecutors all buy their clothing at the mall. They wear the same charcoal suits, striped ties and blue or white starched shirts. Attorney Norm Pattis, who is defending Khan, has a long salt and pepper ponytail, a bright red speckled tie, a brown tweed jacket, and brown pants. He has thick glasses resting on his oversized nose. He actually looks a bit like radical left wing Jewish lawyer William Kunstler. But Norm is a goy. Plus Norm is not a leftist, he just dresses like one.
Richard was not cross examined by Norm Pattis. Richard was cross examined by Norm’s associate, Daniel Erwin. Erwin graduated from Quinnipiac Law School seven years ago. He was still in diapers when I was indicted by the Feds. Norm was using the Khan case to train his new associate on trial practice. I wonder if Khan even knows this.
Before Richard took the witness stand Norm finished up his cross examination of the victim. Norm ended his cross examination on a flat note. Norm tried to score points but he fizzled out. The victim was very sharp. Norm couldn’t rattle her. In most cases Norm cross examines lifelong New Haven residents who graduated New Haven’s dismal public high schools. This young woman graduated from Yale. She is no dummy.
Norm can be very patronizing in the courtroom. He comes across as a self-righteous know-it -all. He is the smartest guy in the room, smarter even than the judge. But the Yalies who testified in this case gave him a run for his money. Norm was flustered. He wasn’t the smartest guy in the room anymore.
Norm asked the victim about the vomit on her skirt. He incredulously asked her, “How do explain how vomit got on the INSIDE of your skirt?” Norm has been watching too many Perry Mason movies. The gotcha moment never came for Norm. The witness didn’t flinch. She responded, “Because I vomited on my lap.” Norm shook his head in disgust. Whatever point Norm was trying to make wasn’t apparent to anyone in the courtroom other than Norm.
Norm couldn’t stop patronizing the rape victim. Does this man have any shame? Towards the end of his cross examination he said to her, “Are you in good health? I noticed that you twisted your ankle outside the courtroom yesterday. Are you ok? Do you need medical attention?” He asked her about her ankle twice. She said she was fine while she looked away. Was Norm proposing to give her a medical examination in the witness box? Talk about inappropriate questions. I was surprised none of the State’s Attorneys objected. They didn’t object because Norm had put them to sleep with his long, drawn out “tedious” cross examination. At one point Norm even apologized to the victim for his “tedious” questions.
Norm spent about ten minutes asking the victim whether Khan took her to the bathroom at Woolsey Hall. During trial she testified that Khan took her to the bathroom. On the police reports she said that he “offered” to take her to the bathroom. Norm incredulously asked, “Do you remember whether he took you to the bathroom or did someone tell you to say he took you to the bathroom.” She said she didn’t go to the bathroom, and couldn’t remember much about the bathroom. Norm smiled and shook his head, as if he had another gotcha moment. If this is all Norm has by way of defense, I feel sorry for Khan. At this point Khan should consider hiring Attorney Hugh Keefe and giving Norm the pink slip.
Norm tried to hammer the victim on how she was allegedly attacked by Khan. Norm pointed out that during trial she said that her arms were pinned down. Nowhere in the police reports did she say her arms were pinned down. The victim offered a sharp response, “I said in the reports that the full weight of Khan was on top of me and I was unable to move.” Same thing, different words. Norm was flustered but he didn’t show it. He looked down at the floor, shook his head and smiled.
Norm tried to attack the victim because she said her torso was on the edge of the bed. Norm couldn’t understand how her torso was at the edge of the bed while her arms were pinned down by Khan. Norm said, “How is that possible? How were you able to move your torso?” The victim responded, “Torso?” Norm sarcastically said to the victim, “There are two arms attached to each side of your torso!” The victim told Norm that she was referring to two separate events, at one point of the night she was pinned down, at another point in the night she was at the edge of the bed. Norm shook his head in disbelief.
Watching Norm cross examine a witness is like watching paint dry. Norm lambasted the witness for being timid for not fighting off Khan when he allegedly attacked her. Norm criticized her for not providing the cops with every gory detail of the ordeal that she endured. In tears she told Norm, “I was being as assertive as I could. I was barely holding it together.”
Norm asked the victim about the condoms she saw on the floor when she was on the side of the bed with Khan on top of her. She said they were the condoms Yale distributed across campus, the “generic brand.” Norm suggested that these condoms can be found strewn about all over campus, even in the laundry room. I have walked around Yale campus for the last twenty years, and I have never seen any condoms lying about. I admit I have never been in the Yale laundry room.
Norm asked the victim about a statement she made to the cops that Khan may be violent because he is a Muslim from Afghanistan. The victim said she “was trying to make sense of his violent act.” Norm admonished her and said, “Isn’t it a widely known fact that Afghan women don’t have any rights in the former Soviet Union Baltic States, where you are from, and the expression there is ‘if he doesn’t beat me he doesn’t love me.'” State’s Attorney Pepper jumped up and objected. The Judge told Norm to move on to the next question.
Norm asked the victim if she hired a private attorney. She answered that she had an attorney. Norm asked her if she was going to sue Mr. Khan or Yale University. She said she had no plans to sue anyone.
Norm tried to get the victim to admit that she was in court because she led Khan on and then decided to date Gayler three weeks later. The victim responded that going to court was a way to help herself heal. Norm wrapped up his cross without anything earth shattering. The State had a brief re-direct.
Richard Gayler was the next witness in the hot seat. I missed the direct examination of Mr. Gayler. I watched Gayler’s cross examination conducted by Norm’s associate Daniel Erwin. Daniel was not as meticulous, or sleep inducing, as Norm. Erwin began his cross by asking Richard about the Shabtai organization. He said to Gayler, “Isn’t Shabtai a loosely based frat house people go to in order to meet prominent alumni and other of importance who go there to speak.” Gayler conceded that Shabtai has some element of that.
Erwin asked Richard about the party at Shabtai on the evening of Halloween. The party at Shabtai was called a “Challah-ween Party.” Halloween for Jews with braided bread. The food served at the Shabtai party consisted of challah bread and chicken wings. Richard said he drank a shot of bourbon, three Hienekens, and one glass of wine while at Shabtai. Erwin asked Richard whether he was sober enough to operate heavy machinery. Richard looked confused by the question. In his Yale dialect he said, “I have never operated heavy machinery before.”
Erwin asked Richard about what happened at Woosley Hall during the midnight Halloween concert. Richard said the victim tried to contact him a couple of times on his cell phone during the concert but he couldn’t hear much of what she had to say with all the noise in the building.
Erwin wanted to know the seating arrangement when Richard was seated with Khan, the victim, and Shabtai Rabbi Shmuly Hecht in the balcony. Erwin wanted to know why Richard didn’t take the victim out of her seat in the balcony and walk her to the bathroom. Erwin suggested that Richard could have done more to help the victim after she puked on herself in the balcony. There were many people who could have done more to help the victim that night.
Richard spoke the Yale dialect. He came across as aloof, but not arrogant. He strove for complete accuracy in his responses to Erwin. Yalies tend to Yalesplain when forced to communicate with the general public.
Erwin asked Richard whether he told the cops, “I normally have a long term friendship relationship with two or three women at a time, with a sexual component, and was usually not monogamous.” Erwin responded, “I lived in California for two years, that is pretty common.” Erwin tried to hammer Richard about being jealous of Khan. Richard told Erwin, “I don’t compete with other males for women, there are so many people available on the Yale campus who are intelligent and attractive.”
The gotcha moment almost came for Erwin when he asked Richard about poker. Richard is a professional poker player. Wealthy people give him money to gamble. Erwin wanted to ask Richard about whether he pays taxes when he gambles overseas. Erwin also wanted to ask Richard about whether Khan gave him money to gamble. Erwin claimed that Richard refused to return the money because of the rape.
Judge Fischer ruled that Erwin could ask Richard about whether he was given gambling money by Khan, but Erwin could not ask Richard about whether he regularly violates Federal tax laws. The jury was brought back into the courtroom. Richard was put back on the witness stand. The gotcha moment was in Erwin’s grasp. Erwin choked. Erwin asked a few softballs and then said, “no more questions your Honor.” I had to suffer for five hours watching Norm Pattis prance around the courtroom making faces and nodding his head and no gotcha moment? I want a refund.
I don’t know why Erwin didn’t ask whether Khan staked Richard with poker money. Was Erwin bluffing? I will never know the truth about high stakes poker at Yale. More evidence tomorrow morning. Stay tuned….
My inside sources have informed me that the victim is a member of the Hebrew race. I am waiting for further confirmation. If this is true this fact will add a whole new dimension to this story. For starters I will have to change the victim’s alias name from Jane Doe to Jane Doestein.