A former MU student charged with rape told jurors Thursday he did not feel comfortable enough to ask a woman he had just slept with if she was OK after she told him "no," put her arms over her face and pushed him off of her onto the ground. But before that, he said, they had consensual sex, which was the opposite of what the victim previously said.

Austin Campbell said she had a "disgusted look" and "wouldn't call (her demeanor) happy" after she pushed him off of her.

Campbell testified for about four hours Thursday, the third day of his trial. Campbell, 21, was charged in 2016 with rape and burglary after a woman said he entered her dorm room the night of Jan. 18, 2016, and raped her. The burglary charge was later dropped. 

This is Campbell's second trial; the previous one ended in a mistrial after jurors could not reach a unanimous decision in fall 2017, according to previous Missourian reporting. 

Campbell said Thursday that he had been in the woman's dorm room earlier on the night of Jan. 17 hanging out with multiple people. He went back after midnight to look for his water bottle and hat because he thought he left them in her room. Campbell knocked on her door and was invited into the victim's room, he said. The victim was awake and asked Campbell to get her some water. He said that when he returned, the victim told Campbell he could get into bed with her and he did.

"I made a comment that I thought she was pretty cute," Campbell said, before kissing her. She kissed him back, he said, and they continued to engage in consensual foreplay.  

Campbell testified the victim gave verbal affirmation that she consented. She then began to take off her leggings, and he helped take them off so he would have "easier access" to engage in foreplay and eventually have sex, he said. 

The two then had consensual sex for about five or 10 minutes, Campbell said. He said he could hear the victim "say yes, or something of that nature" more than once. 

At some point, the victim stopped consenting, he said.

"All of a sudden, she brought her arms up closer (to her face)," Campbell said. "She was shaking her head and at the same time saying 'no.'"

Campbell said he stopped having sex with her. The victim pushed Campbell onto the floor, which he said was because the victim had been drinking. She ran out of the room, he said. He walked near the women's bathroom because he "felt like (he) was going to be sick." 

She walked out of the bathroom and told Campbell, "Go the f--- to bed," he testified. He followed her back to her room and retrieved his hat but not his water bottle, even though she told him to go away.

"I fully believe she was conscious the entire time," Campbell said. "Me and her were having consensual sex until she said no."

"When she said no, I stopped." 

Campbell's testimony was in direct conflict with the victim's. She said Wednesday that she was "100 percent positive" she did not consent to sex. She said she was asleep until she woke up to Campbell on top of her. She went to University Hospital the next day to have a rape kit performed and had an injury consistent with a sexual assault, a nurse testified. 

A current MU student and friend of both the victim and defendant said Thursday the victim seemed unsure how to comprehend what happened. The victim told the witness she knew she didn't have consensual sex with Campbell, the witness said. 

"She knew what had happened; she was just kind of afraid to say it out loud," the witness said. "She knew the events; she just didn't know what to call it." 

Another MU student testified Campbell's hair was messy that night. Campbell also "was sweaty and he looked shaky" after being in the victim's room, the witness said. Campbell told the witness that he had just tucked the victim into bed.

"That's what friends do," the witness said Campbell told him before he walked away.

Campbell was just an acquaintance to the witness, and the witness "didn't know (Campbell) that well," which is why he found it weird that Campbell confided in him.

"I thought it was weird," the witness said. "I didn't just throw that conversation away." 

The defense rested its case on Thursday. Trial was expected to resume Friday. 

Supervising editor is Claire Mitzel.

  • I am a senior investigative journalism student on the public health and safety beat. You can typically find me in court. Stories | maureen.strode@mail.missouri.edu

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