The toughest part of any sexual assault trial, criminal or civil, is the testimony of the victim. It’s a traumatic memory for anyone, and especially traumatic to recount it in such a public forum in front of lawyers who are invested in discrediting you. That’s what Derrick Rose’s accuser, Jane Doe, just went through in the trial in Los Angeles, and Deadspin’s Diana Moskovitz has the details of her harrowing, emotional testimony.
Since she didn’t remember specific details of the event due to her intoxication, Doe’s testimony focused on the aftermath.
She got home, threw up in the toilet, and passed out on her bed. As she has said before, she mostly remembers flashes of the different men in her room. She can’t remember the text messages and calls to her phone, and didn’t even when one of her lawyers put them before her, blown up, on a giant piece of cardboard.
What she does remember is the next morning. She woke up, she said, hung over with her dress on her neck and lube everywhere, and heard from a roommate that men had been over. It was this testimony that was the hardest for her to give. She cried, putting her head so low that it was at times hard for the microphones to pick her up. At one point, even a juror asked her to speak into the microphone so they could hear her.
Doe spoke of her unwillingness to go to the police out of concern for Rose, saying, “I didn’t want to be the reason why … anyone goes to jail. I didn’t want any retaliation.”
The cross examination from Rose’s lawyers was predictably brutal, with the judge reportedly having to snap at attorney Mark Baute to stop interrupting the witness. Baute proceeded to poke holes in Doe’s story.
On that night, he asked her if she ever said “No” or “Stop” or “I don’t consent” or “Leave” or “Get out.” Every time, she answered “I don’t recall,” the last time ending with a few tears. Baute asked her if she needed a break, and the courtroom sat in silence for a few minutes before the questioning continued.
Baute then went over the things she did not do. She did not get a rape kit done. She did not get tested for STDs. She did not get tested for pregnancy. Doe responded that she had a physical done, and that she took pictures of her burned hands but deleted them. He said that while she was fired, it was because of how she was using the company phone.
It’s the responsibility of the lawyers to attempt to prove their client’s innocence, but that’s difficult to do in a sexual-assault case without stepping over the line.
The cross examination is not yet over, and more updates could follow. After that, more witnesses will be called.