Testimonies begin in trial of Tiger Transit driver charged with rape of AU student

Testimonies begin in trial of Tiger Transit driver charged with rape of AU student

LEE COUNTY, AL (WTVM) - An Auburn University student who was allegedly raped while on a campus bus took the witness stand Wednesday along with several former and current Auburn students.

The victim said she remembers getting on the Tiger Transit bus and lying down, but that’s where her memory ends.

Prosecutors asked if there was any way she would’ve consented to Patillo.

“No way,” she said. “Absolutely not.”

The defense argued the victim is unable to say whether or not she consented to Patillo since she doesn’t remember anything from the bus that night.

Two former students said they were in their car and saw a man on top of a female with his pants off.

“It appeared like he was trying to get out of the situation to not get caught,” said Kendall Davis, a former Auburn student and witness. “Because what it looked like he was doing was something sexual with the female."

A current Auburn graduate student, Jasmine Gomez, spent over three hours at the bar with the victim the night the alleged rape occurred. She said the victim was drunk, falling over, and at one point, throwing up. She said a bouncer even threatened to throw the victim out of the bar.

“[She] started dancing with a guy,” Gomez said. “Then she was falling over a bit. The bouncer came up and was wanting to kick her out because she had fallen a couple times.”

The state is arguing the defendant knowingly had penetrative and oral sex while the victim was completely intoxicated and thus physically helpless.

Lee County District Attorney Brandon Hughes argued Patillo was well aware of the state the victim was in. He said according to security footage on the bus, Patillo was caught saying, “Knocked out, huh?”

“Remember that phrase because it’s important," Hughes said. "'Knocked out, huh?' Remember it now throughout the trial and into your deliberations.”

The defense said what happened between Patillo and the victim was consensual.

“Physical helplessness is what this case is about, said" Patillo’s attorney, J. Carlton Taylor. “Not a single statement made by Mr. Patillo.”

Taylor argued the victim was sober enough to Snapchat her friend that she was safely at home at the end of the night.

Patillo is facing charges of first-degree rape and sodomy, as well as public lewdness.

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