Collegian cleared of rape charges
HOLLIDAYSBURG – A former St. Francis collegian accused of raping a Penn State Altoona student was cleared Wednesday of all charges after a half-hour jury deliberation at the Blair County Courthouse.
As the jury forewoman read the verdict, family and friends seated behind Kalil Wynn began to smile and cry. Wynn remained still during the reading, his attorney’s hand upon his shoulder.
“He’ll be regrouping with his family, trying to repair the damage to his reputation,” attorney Philip Masorti of State College said after the trial concluded. “His life has been on hold for 12 months.”
Wynn, 19, of Edison, N.J., was escorted from St. Francis University last year after Logan Township police charged him with rape, sexual assault, aggravated indecent and related charges.
“He’s a courageous young man, a polite and respectful young man,” Masorti said. “I think he’ll do well with whatever he chooses to do now.”
Wynn told the jury of eight men and four women Wednesday morning that he and the Penn State Altoona collegian had consensual sex in her apartment during the early morning hours of Nov. 11, 2012. Wynn said the woman initially told him that she could only tease him because she had a boyfriend. But later when they were on her bed, Wynn said she said she wanted to have sex with him.
The woman, now a student at Penn State University Park, told the jury a different story Tuesday morning. She accused Wynn of forcing himself on her and refusing to stop while she cried. As the verdict was announced, the woman stared ahead, her face drawn.
“The district attorney’s office always respects the verdict of the jury,” Assistant District Attorney Ilissa Zimmerman said.
When asked if she would do anything different, Zimmerman said: “The case was thoroughly investigated and completely presented.”
Zimmerman asked the jury to consider Wynn’s actions. Wynn and two friends came to Altoona and went to two parties before parking near Gwin Road where they saw the woman walking toward her apartment. They gave her a ride to her Nittany Pointe apartment and went inside where she made them a pizza in the early morning hours.
“Was it your goal to have sex with her?” Zimmerman asked.
“No,” Wynn responded.
“Did you have a condom in your pocket?” Zimmerman asked.
“Yes,” Wynn replied.
The woman testified she didn’t want to have sex and tried to get Wynn to back away by telling him she had a boyfriend. Wynn said the woman consented to having intercourse and was OK until she received a text message with hearts around her name.
That’s when she began to “act frantic” and said her boyfriend could never find out, and if he did, she would call police, Wynn said.
Masorti’s closing argument on Wynn’s behalf consisted of two sentences.
“Is there some doubt about this young lady’s consent?” the attorney asked. “Then it’s not guilty on all charges.”
Masorti said that was the first time in a 23-year-law career that his closing lasted less than a minute.
In her closing, Zimmerman reminded jurors that the woman never returned to sleep in that bed and she has been in counseling for a year.
“In his mind, it may have been consensual, but that doesn’t mean it was,” she told the jurors.