COOK COUNTY CRIMINAL COURTHOUSE — Two Loyola University sophomores allegedly raped on campus said the student charged in the attacks had been a trusted friend.
At a preliminary hearing Tuesday, the two women testified that Colin Kennedy, an 18-year-old Loyola freshman, told them he couldn't get into his own dorm room and needed a favor. But when they allowed him into their rooms at Fordham Hall on successive nights in January, Kennedy allegedly sexually assaulted them.
One of the woman was too drunk and too "shocked" to defend herself, she testified. The other said she wasn't strong enough to fight him off.
"He was my friend. I trusted him," the first woman said during the hearing at the Cook County Courthouse.
After the hearing, Kennedy's lawyer, Robert Kerr, said his client, who appeared in court in a neatly pressed black suit, will plead not guilty to the charges. He would not comment about whether his client had sex with the two woman but argued their behavior following the alleged attacks "doesn't make sense."
"It did not happen the way that these girls said it happened," he said. He said based on the women's testimony, he believes they might have had "buyer's remorse."
The first accuser, now 20, told Cook County Judge James Brown that she, Kennedy and the second victim were out with a bunch of friends for a night of drinking on Jan. 13 when Kennedy asked if he could sleep over.
"He said he didn't have a place to stay," said the woman.
Kennedy ended up in her dorm room.
"I was completely intoxicated and blacked out," said the woman, who recounted passing out in her bed. When she awoke, Kennedy was sexually assaulting her, she testified.
Later, while she was passed out, Kennedy allegedly walked upstairs to the second victim's dorm room wearing only his boxer shorts and told her the he "felt bad" for "hooking up" with their friend, according to the second woman's testimony. He then fell asleep in her room, she said.
The following night, Kennedy attended a small party in the second woman's room. After the party wound down, he said he still could not get into his own room, she said. She told him he could sleep on the futon.
Shortly after she got into bed, Kennedy got beside her and tried to "cuddle her," she testified.
The woman refused his advances, but Kennedy allegedly pinned her on the bed and assaulted her.
"I told him to stop because he was going to regret it just like he [did] the night before," she said. "I started screaming louder and louder."
After the attack, Kennedy fell asleep while the woman started "frantically cleaning" the room, she said.
The woman said she did not try to confront Kennedy because she was afraid. She also said she wasn't yet sure what had transpired between Kennedy and the first woman.
In the days that followed the alleged assaults, both women maintained contact with Kennedy via text messages, phone calls, Facebook messages and at social gatherings, according to their testimony.
During cross examination by Kerr, the first woman's voice started to crack and her legs started to buckle. As she stumbled backwards, prosecutors rushed wheeled chairs toward her, and she sat down.
Kerr questioned why the women waited until Jan. 26 to call police. He later questioned why the women "did not separate themselves from their alleged attacker" after the incidents.
At an earlier hearing he argued that the two women coordinated their stories before they came forward with their "delayed outcries."
Kerr has also said that Kennedy, a California native, volunteers at a local church and Relay for Life. He said Kennedy was in good standing with the university where he majors in international business.
Loyola officials initially barred Kennedy from the campus following the charges. But Kerr said Tuesday his client has voluntarily withdrawn and returned to California.
Brown said Tuesday that prosecutors made their case "that there was probable cause a crime may have been committed" and ruled that the case could go forward.
An arraignment is scheduled for March 12.