April 21, 2011
A woman testified Thursday that she felt paralyzed when she awoke to find a former Olympic wrestler on top of her in her bed.
“I just had this paralyzing feeling where I can’t move. I can’t say anything,” she said. “It was like my body was heavy.”
Her testimony came during the third day of a trial in which Stephen Anthony Abas, 33, is accused of sexually assaulting the woman on May 15, 2008 in her dorm room at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.
The woman, who was 20 at that time, was a wrestler training for the 2008 summer Olympics. Abas had won a silver medal at the 2004 Olympics with the U.S. wrestling team.
She testified that she went out drinking with some friends, including Abas, at two downtown bars that night. She said she had gotten drunk and passed out shortly after accepting a tequila drink from Abas.
The next thing she could remember was waking up briefly, not even realizing at first who was in her bed.
“I just felt so violated,” she told the jury. “I thought we were friends. I never told him it was OK.”
The Gazette, which normally does not identify alleged sex assault victims, is withholding her name.
The woman said she was reluctant to report what had happened. She told a nurse a few days later and then recanted briefly when the nurse said she had to call police.
She initially would not give Colorado Springs police the name of her alleged assailant, but later told them it was Abas.
His defense lawyer has argued that the sex was consensual. Prosecutors contend Abas forced himself on the woman after she had passed out.
Jurors also listened to a voicemail that Abas left on the woman’s phone after she made her allegation.
“We got drunk and we had sex,” Abas said in the message. “I hope this doesn’ t turn into anything. I didn’t know you were going to start telling people.”
“I never wanted to hurt you. I never wanted to force myself on you,” he continued. “I thought this was a mutual thing between us.”
The trial is expected to go to the jury on Friday.
For more on this story, visit “The Sidebar” blog at gazette.com