A former Ohio University student was found guilty of rape Thursday.

After two hours of deliberation, jurors ruled that Notay Jackson, 23, of Chicago, had anally raped a 20-year-old woman on July 28, 2016. During the four-day trial, the prosecution presented DNA evidence and called witnesses including the victim, her friends, police officers and health professionals.

The victim testified that she met Jackson and a friend he was staying with, KeVon Powell, a former OU wrestler, at Pawpurrs Bar. She and her friend left with the two men and arrived at Powell’s residence on West Union Street.

She said she thought the four of them would spend time as a group.

She was surprised when Powell took her to his room and began kissing her, but said she was open to it because she was enjoying his company at that point. He began to take off her clothes. 

She said she thought he might finger her next and was open to that, but said she wasn’t expecting him to insert his penis into her vagina. She told him to stop, and he did, she said, and left the room.

The woman initially said both Powell and Jackson raped her, but Powell was not charged.

Next Jackson entered the room. She told him to get out, but he kept walking toward her, she said. She scooted away from him on the bed. Then Jackson flipped her onto her back, held her down by her arms and anally raped her, she said.

“I was just scared, and I was just thinking, why me?” she said.

Prosecutors presented text messages between Powell and Jackson from directly before the rape.

“Aye gee her friend trippin I just told her ass to leave f--- it tell that fat b---- to suck me up,” he texted Powell and followed it with three laughing emojis.

In her testimony, the victim’s friend said she left the house because Jackson pulled his pants down and asked for oral sex.

Jackson testified that the victim’s friend left voluntarily and claimed he was actually trying to go into the room the victim was in to tell her her friend had left. He spoke derogatorily about the women because he was trying to seem cool to his friend, he said.

“At the time, I did not use good judgement of language,” he said.

Powell testified Jackson was asking him if he could have sex with the victim in the text messages. Jackson said that never happened and said the “prosecutors had (Powell’s) head everywhere.”

The state presented DNA evidence from an anal swab an OhioHealth O’Bleness Hospital nurse collected during a sexual assault examination that matched Jackson’s DNA. Jackson’s attorney, Byron Potts, claimed the DNA was in the victim’s anus because he had fingered her while they were both at Pawpurrs.

The victim said she never even spoke to Jackson in the bar and didn’t know his name until an officer said it to her on the phone.

She said while Jackson anally raped her, she screamed at the top of her lungs and shouted, “get off me, get the f--- out.” Eventually he did, but he remained in the room and told her he didn’t know it was “the wrong hole” because he was a virgin.

He left, and she ran out of the house. As she was halfway down the driveway, she said someone shouted after her, “Hey, sweetheart, you left your dignity upstairs.”

She ran to a bench outside Thai Paradise restaurant and called and texted her roommate and a friend. She texted both of them saying she had just been raped, told them she wanted to die and begged them to come help her.

“Please run,” she said. “Please help me.”

She said she sat on the bench for about 10 minutes and none of the people who walked by stopped. When her friend arrived, the friend dialed 911. They spent several hours at O’Bleness  for the victim’s sexual assault examination and remained at the hospital until about 7 a.m.

The woman testified that she didn’t leave her bed for two days after the rape and that it hurt to use the bathroom for the next week.

When the victim was called to the stand, someone offered her a packet of tissues. She waved it away. As she described the events leading up to her rape, her voice shook, but she spoke clearly. 

She began to cry as she described making out with Powell on his bed. When she saw Assistant Prosecutor Elizabeth Pepper unwrapping the shorts she wore that night, the victim began to sob. 

Pepper held up her shorts, bodysuit and bra in the courtroom and asked her to identify each. An audience member passed up a packet of tissues and Pepper brought them to her.

Several times, Potts brought up how she had just met Powell the night of the rape. 

“So you had just met a guy, and after a 20 minute conversation, you agreed to go over to his house?” he asked her at one point.

Potts said in his closing statement that the victim falsely accused Jackson and Powell of rape because people in the house heard her having sex with Powell and other people in the house humiliated her with the “you left your dignity upstairs” statement.

Prosecutors presented text message exchanges in which Jackson and his friends discussed the trial. In one, Jackson texted Dontae McGee, a junior and an Ohio wrestler who was in his bedroom down the hallway during the rape and testified that he didn’t hear the woman scream. 

Jackson asked McGee what he said to an investigator and asked if he had contacted his ex-girlfriend to make sure she was “on point with everything” because an investigator might call her soon.

In text messages, McGee told the defendant's brother that he was asleep during the rape. In court, he testified that he was watching Netflix with his girlfriend during the rape and would have heard the woman’s screams. He said he lied to Jackson’s brother because he didn’t want his name associated with the case.

Jackson also texted Powell before he met with an investigator from the prosecutor’s office and said, “make sure you record everything … because get they on bulls---.”

Jackson denied that he was trying to “make up a story” with the other witnesses.

During the last day of testimony, Jackson’s father was barred from the courtroom after an outburst. 

The father, who was sitting near Athens County Prosecutor Keller Blackburn, said, “Your honor, as a parent, I would ask this gentleman here to stop smiling and shaking his head while my son is testifying,” referring to Blackburn. 

As the defendant’s family left the courthouse, the father drove up and said, "Racists! They’re all racists." The jury in the trial appeared to be all white. Jackson is black. 

Potts argued in his closing statement that the DNA evidence was inconclusive and said the case was about which of the parties were more credible.

“Do you believe Notay Jackson, or do you believe (the victim)?” he said.

The victim and her friends wept after the judge read the verdict. Jackson was handcuffed and lead from the courtroom.

A sentencing hearing will be set at a later date.

— Ashton Nichols, Lauren Fisher and Nora Jaara contributed to this report.

@baileygallion

bg272614@ohio.edu

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