By Roxanna Jarvis
WOODLAND – “Mistaken identity” could have been the cause of an alleged rape—or not. The defendant’s story changed from sexual assault to consensual sex as he told it here in Yolo County Superior Court this week.
The defendant, Jon-Paul Dunlevy, is accused of raping his ex-roommate’s girlfriend in her sleep after a night of drinking and smoking marijuana. The defendant initially claimed to believe the victim was another woman (therefore mistaking her identity), but later changed his narrative to be that the intercourse was consensual between him and the victim.
The different stories left even Judge David Rosenberg confused for a moment.
Several witnesses were called to testify during the preliminary hearing that took place over Zoom. Each testimony contained slight variations, but overall, there existed the same series of events.
After a night of drinking at a bar on September 2, 2018, the alleged victim, her boyfriend, and her friend went to her boyfriend’s house to continue drinking and to smoke marijuana. There, the group was joined by Dunlevy, who also lived at the residence at the time.
Later in the night, the group decided to sleep in the victim’s boyfriend’s room. The victim and her boyfriend shared his bed, while her friend and Dunlevy shared the futon perpendicular to the couple.
In the early hours of the next morning, the victim awoke to see the defendant behind her friend with his head against her buttocks, stroking her thighs. The victim became uncomfortable, as her friend was sleeping. In an attempt to move Dunlevy away from her friend, the victim asked him to put the futon into the bed position.
The victim “went behind [her friend] to avoid Dunlevy going behind [her friend] in that position. She was alarmed by Dunlevy placing his head there while she was sleeping,” explained Sergeant Kimberly Walker with the Davis Police Department.
Dunlevy then went to lie next to the victim’s boyfriend in his bed. Believing she was safe, the victim fell asleep on the futon. Sadly, she was mistaken.
The victim woke up to a man penetrating her. Believing it was her boyfriend, the victim reached for the man’s chest only to be met with chest hair—which her boyfriend did not have. Upon the realization that the man was Dunlevy, she grabbed his beard and began to push his head back in an attempt to get him off her.
Dunlevy then rolled off the victim and in between her and the wall, where the victim began striking him with her elbow. Dunlevy called her a “crazy drunk b****” and went to lie down next to the victim’s boyfriend.
According to the victim’s statement taken by Officer Pheng Ly of the Davis Police Department, Dunlevy did not take the victim’s reaction seriously and “laughed it off. ” Dunlevy felt she was beating him up for no reason,” stated officer Ly.
When the victim’s boyfriend woke, sometime after the incident, to urinate, he noticed the victim crying on the futon. Upon going outside, the victim told him what had occurred. Dunlevy was then told to leave the bedroom and the cops were called.
While the victim’s telling of events accuses Dunlevy as a rapist, his account of events states otherwise. He told officers two different stories: the first being a case of mistaken identity, and the second being that the sex was consensual.
When questioned by officer Ly at the scene, Dunlevy told Ly the victim had jumped in between him and her friend on the futon and began to touch and kiss him. “When he tried to have sexual intercourse with her, that’s when she fought him off and he got back into bed with [victim’s boyfriend],” said officer Ly.
Yet, Dunlevy initially told a different story when questioned by officer Keith Briesenick of the Davis PD in the back of her police car:
“He first explained to me that he believed he was having sex and sexual activity with [victim’s friend] and that this was a case of, quote, mistaken identity. But later, he stated that he had sexual activity with the victim that was consensual.”
After confirming that Officer Briesenick had seen both the victim and her friend that morning, Deputy District Attorney David Robbins asked the officer one question: “Did they have similar body types?”
“They don’t appear to be similar to me, no,” answered Briesenick. “[The victim’s friend] is a little bit heavier set, long dark hair, and the victim in this case smaller and slighter in stature.” Briesenick then clarified she meant thin when she said “slighter.”
When cross-examined by defense attorney Leslie Ramos, it was discovered that Briesenick recollected the two-year-old incident with just the police report: two paragraphs long and written by a separate officer in-training.
“This wasn’t my case to investigate,” explained Briesenick. “I was training a newer officer who was taking the lead as far as contacts in this case.”
Despite that, Judge Rosenberg felt that sufficient evidence existed to hold Dunlevy to answer for the alleged accusation at trial. He is to be arraigned next month and a trial date confirmed.
To sign up for our new newsletter – Everyday Injustice – https://tinyurl.com/yyultcf9