After a week of witness testimony, the prosecution finally called upon the alleged rape victim Friday afternoon to testify before the jury at Eric Frimpong’s trial.
The afternoon session ended before defense attorney Robert Sanger got a chance to cross-examine the alleged victim, meaning that the witness will answer to the defense starting this morning at around 9 a.m. Former UCSB soccer player Frimpong currently stands on trial for the alleged rape of a woman at an Isla Vista beach on Feb. 16 as well as the alleged sexual assault of another woman who came to the police after Frimpong’s arrest.
According to her testimony, the alleged victim met the defendant at 6681 Del Playa Dr. at approximately 11:30 p.m. on Feb. 16. The woman was unable to reach her friends partying inside a DP residence and Frimpong, who had previously been at the party, invited her back to his house on the 6500 block of Del Playa Drive to play beer pong. On Wednesday, two of Frimpong’s former roommates testified that they indeed saw the woman at their house, though neither conversed with her.
The alleged victim then moved on to describe the events that followed. The woman claims she was thrown down on the beach by the defendant. According to her testimony, the defendant not only threw the alleged victim onto the beach, but strangled her around the neck using both hands, punched her and bit her on the face, all the while yelling at her to “shut up.” The alleged victim told the jury that she struggled every chance that she had but that she simply couldn’t get away.
“I started to scream, but he covered my mouth and then started to strangle me,” she said. “I couldn’t scream or breathe. I continued to try everything I could to get away but I could barely move. I wasn’t strong enough.”
After biting her, the defendant allegedly ripped off the victim’s pants and began to forcibly rape her. The woman passed out during the incident, and when she woke again, she was alone with her pants and underwear 10 feet away on the beach. She said the last thing she remembers clearly was running up onto the street and asking a stranger to use their phone.
District Attorney Mary Barron asked the witness several times to describe Frimpong’s demeanor throughout the night. Nearly every time, with the exception of the events on the beach, she described his demeanor as friendly. She also stated that she had not felt any attraction to the defendant that night.
A fair amount of time was spent discussing the alleged victim’s level of sobriety on the night in question. According to her testimony, the witness had three or four shots of vodka in her dorm starting around 6 p.m., a beer around 8 p.m., an additional three or four shots of rum between the hours of 10:30 and 11:30 p.m., and finally, approximately another three beers during the course of her beer pong game with the defendant. Despite having consumed a possible 10 drinks, the woman stated that she never felt heavily intoxicated. When asked about her normal tolerance for alcohol, she stated that hers was higher than most, a statement that was corroborated by other witnesses.
The alleged victim was asked at one point whether the man that attacked her was in the courtroom. She responded, “Yes.”
Prior to the alleged victim’s testimony, her unofficial boyfriend at the time testified as to his role in the night. He stated that he was with her earlier in the night and had gone out to a few parties with her, but that they went their separate ways when the victim headed to DP. He later saw her on DP, talking with Frimpong. After passing her, he called her. Their phone conversation lasted only 81 seconds, during which time the witness inquired whom she was with and what they were doing.