West Virginia sexual assault trial against former Marshall University student accused of raping two women to continue into next week

West Virginia News

Editor’s Note: Some of the details or sound bytes you’ll hear in this story are graphic.

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WOWK) — Friday marked the fourth day of the double sexual assault trial against Chase Hardin, and for most of the day, jurors heard from Hardin himself.

There were three additional witnesses presented by the defense before Hardin testified, all verifying the order of events of the night Hardin and the second accuser met.

One of those witnesses was Hardin’s sister, Olivia Hardin. She had been a good friend of the second alleged victim but testified the friendship ended after she learned the accuser had filed a police report against Hardin.

The court also heard from an expert on sexual assault counseling and advocacy whom the state called, who advised there is no normal trauma response for victims, and that behavior from a victim after sexual assault can seem unpredictable.

Hardin took the stand at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 14. His entire testimony centered around the belief the sex with two young women in 2018 was consensual.

His version of events was the opposite of what his accusers claimed, and he repeatedly said all acts were either consensual or accidental. He also said the sex with both victims was initiated by them.

“Did she say stop?”

“No sir.”

“Did she say no?”

“No.”

“Did you tell her, like she testified, ‘Consent’s a big thing with me?’”

“Yes. I had actually looked at her and said, ‘Consent’s a big thing for me, do I have your consent?’ And she started laughing and said ‘yes, you have my consent.’”

EXCHANGE BETWEEN DEFENSE ATTORNEY AND CHASE HARDIN, DEFENDANT

The state countered that Hardin’s statements in court today were contrary to what he first told authorities in December 2018. The prosecuting attorneys pressed Hardin to find out why his statements had changed.

After Hardin stepped down from the witness stand, the defense rested their case.

The jury, after a short deliberation, decided to wait until Monday, Aug. 17, to hear both sides’ closing statements.

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