Trial of KSU professor underway

By Katherine Wartell

Opening statements were made Wednesday in the trial of a visiting K-State faculty member accused of raping a female friend more than four years ago.

“This is a case of betrayal,” Assistant County Attorney Barry Disney told jurors in his opening argument. William Yankey, 28, Manhattan, is accused of having raped his former friend, now 27, in the early morning hours of Dec. 8, 2007 as she slept.

Disney said Yankey, a K-State architecture grad who had moved to Dallas after graduation, had visited the woman and her husband for the weekend and was considered a good friend of both.

The three, he said, went out to dinner the night Yankey arrived in town, had drinks in Aggieville and then returned to the couple’s home. The victim went to bed and the men stayed up in the living room, where the victim’s husband fell asleep.

At some point past midnight, Disney said, Yankey, who had drunk heavily that night, entered the victim’s bedroom and digitally penetrated and groped the woman as she slept. He said the woman awoke to the assault, but pretended to roll away in sleep. Not long after, Disney said, Yankey left the bedroom.

The woman did not tell her husband of the incident until 2009, the same year Yankey returned to take a faculty position at K-State, and did not tell police until 2012. Disney attributed that to her reticence to speak on the subject.

Officers arrested Yankey on Sept. 11, 2012 for rape. He has been released on $50,000 bond.

In the defense’s opening statement, Barry Clark told jurors it was his job to tell them the rest of the story.

According to Clark, there was significant, subsequent contact between Yankey and the victim that draws into question what the victim claims happened. He said the victim, in a meeting with Yankey, told him a different story of what happened that morning from what she told police.

At the time of publication Wednesday, the victim had been called to the stand.

It is expected that the victim’s husband, friends of both the victim and Yankey, as well as the detective assigned to the case will testify in what is expected to be a three-day trial.

The trial began Tuesday with jury selection.

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