MIAMI (WSVN) - A former Florida International University student testified in court that she was attacked inside her dorm room last year.
The 21-year-old shared her story before the man on trial, Brandon Allen, also 21 and a fellow student, took the stand to defend himself, saying the encounter was consensual.
7News is not identifying or showing the face of the alleged victim, a former exchange student. She sat in a Miami courtroom on Tuesday as she tearfully recounted the moment when, she said, she was assaulted. “He was trying to kiss me in, like, my neck and stuff, and if I tried to ask him to stop, or if I said anything, he would cover my mouth,” she said, “and he was holding me down by my neck, so I couldn’t move, and my arms were still trapped under me.”
Allen said he and the young woman knew each other through mutual friends, and he thought that the two had a possible budding physical relationship after she had invited him to her room on a prior occasion. “I’d just been there four days previous to this,” he said.
The accuser said she’d rebuffed previous advances, as she was dating one of Allen’s fraternity brothers at the time. When he called at 2:30 a.m., on April 26, 2015, she said Allen asked for a hug before he attacked her.
The alleged victim said the suspect performed a sex act on himself that left DNA behind. “I was embarrassed, so I didn’t want my roommates to hear, so I didn’t yell or anything,” she said.
Allen said there was kissing and mutual fondling, but she told him they weren’t going to have intercourse. “We kept kissing and stuff, and eventually, like, nothing was going to happen, but I didn’t want to make it seem like that was all I was interested in because it wasn’t,” he said.
Prosecutors showed side-by-side pictures of the woman’s scratched and bruised neck. “That is a picture of the right side of [her] neck,” said FIU Police Detective Ralph Torres when a prosecutor showed him the photos.
When the prosecutor asked how he knew that, Torres replied, “Because I took that picture.”
Nicole Wasielewski, a friend of the accuser and a fellow exchange student, said the alleged victim called the dorm’s resident assistant, who in turn called police.
Wasielewski said the incident left her friend shaken. “I know she was pretty distraught about the incident, and she didn’t want to go anywhere alone on campus,” said Nicole Wasielewski. “I had to walk her from her dorm to other places.”
At this point in Wasielewski’s testimony, the defense attorney said, “objection,” but the judge overruled it.
She then shared an anecdote about a campus event both women attended. “We went to a campus event, and she decided she didn’t want to be there because she was scared she was going to run into Brandon or some of his friends,” she said.
Back in December of 2012, Allen, then 17, was the victim of a drive-by shooting in Miami while walking home from school.
The defendant said he is a victim in this case as well. He said he has cooperated fully with FIU Police, giving them DNA and access to his cellphone because, he indicated, he did nothing wrong.
According to Allen, the DNA found in the dorm room was from a quick consensual encounter. During his testimony, he said he never held his accuser by the arms or prevented her from leaving the room.
When asked whether his accuser made any statement afterwards, Allen replied, “No. I had told her that I was gonna go back to the get-together that I was at, said my final goodbyes, and she walked me to the door. We had a hug. She said, ‘Good night.’ I said, ‘Good night.’ I proceeded to the elevator, and I went back to where I was previously at.”
His accuser, however, painted a very different picture. “I was afraid and embarrassed. I didn’t know what to do,” she said. “I was in shock.”
Allen is facing one count of false imprisonment, one count of battery and one count of indecent exposure. His trial resumes Wednesday at 9:30 a.m..
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