Juror describes thought process behind verdict in Kevin Olsen trial

Juror opens up about Kevin Olsen verdict

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - It’s been more than 48 hours since a jury announced they had found former UNC Charlotte quarterback Kevin Olsen not guilty of all charges.

Olsen was facing three counts of second-degree rape and one count of second-degree sex offense. The athlete was arrested in February 2017 after a woman he was dating at the time told police that Olsen assaulted her in a house in the University City area after the two had a night out in uptown.

During the trial, Olsen’s attorney argued that the sex was consensual. The jury heard five days of testimony before deliberations began Monday afternoon. By Wednesday, a verdict had been rendered.

WBTV spoke with one of the jurors Friday afternoon. The juror asked to remain anonymous for the interview.

The juror explained that the unanimous decision did not come immediately. He said that the jurors were split eight to four as deliberations began, with the majority of jurors believing Olsen to be not guilty of the accusations.

“There was a lot of pressure to make sure we got all the evidence and understood everything so we could make a right decision as a group,” said the juror.

He said that while the jury was initially split, they did agree on one aspect of the alleged victim’s story.

“We all agreed that he did get into a fight and he did hit her,” the man explained.

But the juror said that he and his peers were skeptical about the sexual aspect of the alleged crime.

According to the original police report, Olsen’s then-girlfriend told officers that Olsen was upset about things happening in his life.

She said he went into a bathroom and put a phone charger against his neck and threatened to kill himself.

The woman told police she was able to talk him down, but that Olsen then came into the bedroom and wanted to have sex, and she reportedly said no. The report stated she told officers that Olsen then raped her three separate times.

“No evidence showed he was forcing her to have sex and the fact that she participated a little was enough for us to say that he could not have raped her,” the juror explained to WBTV.

He said that while the jury debated the accusations, they were asked to consider three specific points about each charge: Did the sexual act occur? Was the defendant using force to overcome the alleged victim? Did the act take place without consent or against the alleged victim’s will?

The juror said that he and his peers struggled with the second point. He said the prosecution didn’t prove Olsen used force to overcome his then girlfriend.

“They moved positions several times. We felt that she could have, if she felt threatened, she could have gotten out of the room when he laid in the fetal position,” the juror explained.

During the trial, jurors heard text messages from the alleged victim read aloud in court. One of the texts stated that Olsen was not a rapist. This struck a chord with the jury, according to the juror WBTV spoke with.

“Some of the text messages stood out a lot. Especially when the victim stated, ‘he’s not a rapist’. That constantly was in our minds,” the juror explained.

He said they ultimately felt there was not enough evidence for the jurors to find Olsen guilty of any charges. However, he claims the jurors were disappointed that the prosecution hadn’t pressed separate charges against Olsen for battery and assault since they believed he did hit the alleged victim.

“I felt we did the right thing. I still feel comfortable that we did the right thing because I just personally did not see him as a rapist. Yes, they had some serious issues and maybe he did some other things, but he was not on trial for those.”

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