Woman testifies that man raped her while they were students at Williams
PITTSFIELD — "I knew that something bad had happened to me."
That was part of the testimony from a woman who said she was sexually assaulted by Yoonsong Bae in July 2014 when the two were both students at Williams College.
The woman, who was 19 at the time, said Bae assaulted her in his dorm room after she was sick and had passed out from drinking.
Bae, 27, is facing a bench trial before Judge Michael Callan on one count of rape stemming from the alleged assault. The woman was the state's first witness.
The woman said she had traveled from New York to visit friends, including Bae, on the Williams College campus.
She said after watching a play, she, Bae and another male student went back to Bae's room, where she drank at least 1 1/2 mixed drinks made with beer, tequila and orange liquor.
She testified she went to Bae's room to try the drink he'd described and to catch up with him as he'd just returned from a year of studying abroad. About midnight, the other male left and she stayed behind for about another hour, she testified.
As some point, she became ill from drinking and went to the bathroom to vomit.
She testified she was incapacitated to the point she couldn't walk herself and that Bae carried her back to his room and put her in his bed, where she passed out.
When she awoke later, she said, her pants and underwear had been removed and Bae was having sex with her. She said he refused to stop, despite her protests.
The woman said Bae apologized when she confronted him the following night during a dinner with a group of friends.
Under cross-examination by Bae's attorney, Charles Dolan, the woman couldn't recall the exact language Bae used and acknowledged there were details of that night she also couldn't recall.
She testified that at the end of the weekend visit, she accepted a ride from Bae back to Albany, where she was catching a bus back home. She said that ride had been arranged before the assault and that Bae indicated he wanted to talk to her about the incident.
When Bae dropped her off, she told him to never contact her again.
She reported the assault to New York authorities and contacted the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN). She also underwent a sexual assault examination at a New York hospital.
According to information aired in court, Williams College investigated the matter and suspended Bae for two years and barred him from campus during that time.
The woman testified that, at first, she elected to not pursue criminal charges against Bae, with the understanding she could at a later date.
After she graduated and Bae had completed his suspension, she decided to go forward with the criminal case in part out of concerns that if she didn't pursue the charges, she might be subjecting other people to Bae's behavior.
She also said she felt she was more emotionally ready to do so in 2017, rather than immediately after the incident.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Stephanie Ilberg.
Testimony is expected to continue Friday.
Bob Dunn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, at @BobDunn413 on Twitter and 413-496-6249.
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