It happened four years ago. Eight men, seven of whom were members of the De Anza College Baseball Team, were accused of raping a seventeen-year-old girl during a house party. According to her own account, the incident ended when three of her friends forced themselves into the room, where they found her lying on the floor.
The District Attorney at the time, Dolores Carr, refused to file charges, saying that there was insufficient evidence of sexual assault. The Attorney General agreed, but the victim fought on, suing the young men she claims raped her in civil court. On Wednesday, Lauren Chief Elk, testified in court about how she found her friend lying on the floor, surrounded by members of the baseball team. The plaintiff sobbed as she recounted her story.
According to Chief Elk, the team members told her to leave the room, saying, “‘It’s none of your business. She wants to be here.” Her testimony was challenged again and again by lawyers representing each of the eight defendants.
Lawyers for the plaintiff believe that she stands a better chance of winning her case in civil court. In order to win, she will only need the support of nine of the twelve jurors, and the standards of evidence do not require that she prove her case beyond reasonable doubt.