Crime & Courts

Glitch interrupts jury deliberations in Kevin Olsen’s rape trial

Kevin Olsen sits at the defense table Tuesday during jury deliberations in his rape trial. Olsen, a former UNC Charlotte quarterback, is charged with three counts of second degree rape and one count of criminal sexual offense in connection with an alleged February 2017 assault on his girlfriend. No verdict was returned Tuesday. The jurors will resume their discussions at 9 a.m. Wednesday
Kevin Olsen sits at the defense table Tuesday during jury deliberations in his rape trial. Olsen, a former UNC Charlotte quarterback, is charged with three counts of second degree rape and one count of criminal sexual offense in connection with an alleged February 2017 assault on his girlfriend. No verdict was returned Tuesday. The jurors will resume their discussions at 9 a.m. Wednesday jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

The first full day of deliberations in Kevin Olsen’s rape trial ended early Tuesday when what the judge described as a technological problem blocked the jury from receiving a copy of an expert’s testimony.

Superior Court Judge Karen Eady-Williams called it a day at around 2:15 p.m. after telling the nine men and three women deciding Olsen’s fate that because of the glitch, they would not receive a transcript of what digital forensics specialist Clark Walton said on the witness stand in Olsen’s behalf last week.

Walton, a former threat analyst with the CIA, examined hundreds of text messages that Olsen’s accuser sent him before and after an alleged Feb. 19, 2017 assault that led to Olsen’s arrest and indictment.

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The former UNC Charlotte quarterback is being tried on three counts of second-degree rape and one count of second-degree sex offense. Each charge carries a prison sentence of up to 10 years.

Prosecutors have told the jury that Olsen, 23, first beat then sexually assaulted his girlfriend after a night uptown of heavy drinking and rising tensions between the pair.

“I dare you to leave me,” Olsen texted his girlfriend while the two became separated at the Epicentre in uptown Charlotte, according to testimony. “I’ll kill ur b---- ass.”

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Hospital photographs displayed during the trial showed Olsen’s former girlfriend with a black eye and bruising over parts of her body.

Walton examined hundreds of the accuser’s texts, including one sent to Olsen three hours before the alleged assault in which the woman mused about the two returning home for “hot sex and some porn,” according to testimony. In another text sent after Olsen’s arrest, she told a friend that Olsen “is not a rapist.” In a third text, she wrote, “I’m going to ruin his life.”

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It’s not clear why the jurors want to revisit Walton’s testimony. They requested the transcript at around 10:30 a.m. They were still waiting for the document four hours later when Eady-Williams sent them home. They are scheduled to report back at 9 a.m. Wednesday.

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Late Monday afternoon, the jurors sent their first note to the judge after little more than two hours of discussions.

“We cannot yet come to a unanimous decision on each of the four charges and do not foresee reaching a decision rapidly,” the note said.

Michael Gordon: 704-358-5095; @MikeGordonOBS
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