Tyler Strong testifies in UH rape trial

Published: Mar. 19, 2015 at 8:50 PM HST|Updated: Mar. 19, 2015 at 9:31 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Tyler Strong, the 19-year old former UH Manoa student on trial for raping a classmate in September, took the stand in his own defense Thursday.

Strong said he was close friends with the accuser before the incident on the morning of September 21.

"We were flirtatious. We also shared intellectually intimate moments with each other."

Strong, now living at home in Oregon, testified he and the accuser had spent the night with each other on a previous occasion. "We kissed and cuddled all night, then slept."

He said on the night of September 20, there was drinking in his dorm room. The girl was there, but left between 11:30 and midnight. Later, after a series of text messages between the two, the girl returned to Strong's dorm.

"What was going through your head at this point?" asked his attorney Jeffrey Hawk.

"That she wanted to sleep with me, tonight," Strong answered.

Once in his bed, the two started kissing, and had sex.

"When you started to have sex with her, did she say no?" Hawk asked.

"No she did not," replied Strong from the stand.

"Did she say stop?" Hawk continued.

"No she did not," Strong answered.

Strong testified it was after the encounter that the girl became distraught and started crying before leaving the dorm room. Under cross examination, the state tried to show that the alleged victim did not give consent.

"--- didn't say 'yes, give it to me,' right?" asked Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Kristen Yamamoto.

"No she did not," Strong answered.

"She didn't say 'yes Tyler, I want to have sex with you,'" said Yamamoto during cross examination.

"No she did not," Strong replied.

Both sides rested their cases. Closing arguments will be heard Friday morning. Jury deliberation will commence Monday.

Related links:

UH Manoa campus rape trial underway

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