The ex-girlfriend who accused former UNC-Charlotte quarterback Kevin Olsen of raping her last year sat down for her first interview two months after her alleged attacker was acquitted at trial, telling a North Carolina newspaper that she will not be silent anymore.
Karah Abbott, 25, told the Charlotte Observer this week that her decision to go public with her story had nothing to do with Olsen.
‘This is about me,’ she told the paper. ‘It’s time to start standing up for myself. I needed to put a face to this woman that nobody had seen or heard or anything. I needed people to see me.’
Rape accuser Karah Abbott, 25 (left), this week spoke out publicly for the first time about the alleged 2017 assault and former UNC-Charlotte quarterback Kevin Olsen’s trial
Olsen (pictured in court) was acquitted in October of three counts of felony second-degree forcible rape
After Olsen’s not guilty verdict, Abbott shared photos of the injuries allegedly inflicted by the college football player on her Facebook page, along with an impassioned message
During Olsen’s trial in September, Abbott testified as the star witness for the prosecution but was not named by media outlets because of the sexual nature of the allegations.
Abbott told the 12-person jury that on a night in February 2017, Olsen, who is the younger brother of Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen, beat her up over some text messages he found on her phone, then proceeded to sexually assault her.
The accuser said from the stand that she did not say ‘no’ to the 6-foot-3 Olsen or physically resist his demands for sex because she was stunned from being punched in the face and froze up.
Olsen’s defense attorney George Laughrun suggested that Abbott could have just walked away from the situation. He also sought to portray her as a liar and a vindictive ex who was out to ruin Olsen’s life after he cheated on her.
Abbott said she decided to go public with the story in an effort to stand up for herself and stopped being a faceless accuser
The defense sought to portray Abbott as a liar and a vindictive ex who was out to ruin Olsen’s life after he cheated on her. His lawyer displayed her text message to a friend says that Olsen was ‘not a rapist’
During the trial, Laughrun displayed Abbott’s text messages sent to Olsen just hours before the alleged rape, in which the woman asked her boyfriend if he wanted ‘hot sex and porn.
After Olsen was arrested in late February 2017, Abbott texted a friend that ‘Kevin is not a rapist,’ and that she wanted to wreck his life.
‘Do I regret some of the things I said? Yes. I have a temper,’ Abbott conceded in the Observer interview. ‘I was a 23-year-old who had been in a toxic relationship. I was stuck. I was confused. I was probably feeling every emotion that a person could possibly feel.’
On October 3, the jury found Olsen not guilty of three counts of felony second-degree forcible rape. Had he been convicted, he could have faced up to 30 years in prison.
Two days later, Abbott publicly identified herself for the first time as Olsen’s accuser in a Facebook status update, which was accompanied by a series of selfies showing a black-and-blue bruise under her left eye, which she claimed were taken on the night of the alleged attack.
The 25-year-old said even though Olsen was acquitted, she felt a sense of closure after testifying during the trial
Abbott on Thursday unleashed a tirade on Facebook directed at a juror who wondered after the verdict why she failed to leave the room, or call for help
‘I have my fair share of flaws,’ she wrote. ‘But make no mistake I did not lie about what happened to me that night. ‘I’m going to continue standing up for myself because I’m pissed and frankly you should be as well…. I am finally free and I will not be silent.’
Looking back on the trial, Abbott told the Observer this week that she got a sense from the members of the jury panel that they did not believe her, and some of them would not even look at her during her testimony. One juror later told the station Fox 46 that Abbott could have fled the bedroom, or called for help.
On Thursday, the 25-year-old addressed the anonymous juror’s comment in another lengthy Facebook screed.
‘I’m sorry that in my moment of terror against my raging abusive ex-boyfriend I didn’t try to flea [sic] from him in a way that you would have seen fit,’ she wrote. ‘I’m sorry that me laying terrified in his bed waiting for him to fall asleep so that I could then safely flea [sic] from his bedroom, barefoot, in the middle of a February night, with an emerging black eye and bruises, wasn’t a satisfying escape for you.
‘If you see this, I want you to think long and hard about that response, and if it was actually realistic. Because I can promise you in my particular circumstance, it was not.
Abbott says she is moving on and plans to study psychiatry at a gratitude school
‘But in the end it all comes down to I left, I never looked back and that should have been all that matters. That night I saved myself and you should have recognized that.’
Sounding defiant, Abbott went on to write that she will not allow ’12 random jurors’ to silence her because they were not in the room with her and Olsen the night she was allegedly assaulted, and they did not witness her struggles afterward.
‘I don’t feel like I lost, people now see him for who he really is and thats [sic] all that matters,’ she argued. ‘By coming forward about abusers like this who knows who you might save. Who you might have kept from becoming their next victim.’
‘By coming forward you give yourself the gift of freedom, the gift to get your life back. That’s what you gain from telling the truth. Thats [sic] all I want for others like me, I want you to have your life back.’
Although the trial concluded with Olsen’s acquittal, Abbott said it gave her a sense of closure and a path forward.
In the future, she plans to enroll at a graduate school to study psychiatry.
Olsen was suspended from all athletic activities and kicked off the Charlotte 46ers football team in September 2017.