By Natasha Feuerstein
SACRAMENTO – It was, no doubt, unusual and uncomfortable questioning throughout the preliminary hearing held at the end of this past week in Sacramento County Superior Court for Kasey Nye, who faces felony aggravated assault and corporal injury charges.
Assistant Public Defender Stephen Nelson engaged in a series of questions about the victim’s sex life that the court ruled the victim must answer.
The victim, Nye’s former dating partner, testified she met Nye through an online dating app in March of 2020, and they dated for approximately three months.
On the night of June 22, 2020, the victim testified that Nye physically assaulted her by grabbing her face by the jaw, then punching her twice in the left eye. She said was spending the night at Nye’s house since they planned to go boating with his grandparents the next day.
Nye picked the victim up from her house after his work shift, then drove them about 30 minutes to his house. The victim said Nye “seemed kind of removed” and was not acting like himself. She explained typically when Nye was having a bad day, his “ticks,” or involuntary movements, were worse.
She also stated that prior to the night of the incident, she had only spent the night at his house two to three times. The victim explained that they typically spent time at her house, and she did not particularly care for spending time at other people’s houses.
Since Nye lives behind his grandparents’ house, the victim explained that they had a rule of not allowing the couple to sleep in the same bed.
The victim testified that she told Nye she was not interested in sleeping over at his house unless they slept in the same bed. At around 12 a.m. to 1 .m., the victim said she informed Nye she was going to bed, and she asked him if he would join her in the bedroom. He told her that he would come to bed after his show finished.
The victim said she was unable to sleep and went back to the living room where Nye was watching television to ask him to come to bed. After this, the victim testified that they engaged in sexual intercourse, including some consensual sexual violence, such as slapping below the waist.
The victim further explained that she did not allow any slapping above the waist, especially to her face.
APD Nelson asked the victim if they engaged in any bondage or used any “implementations,” to which the victim replied, “Yes, sometimes.”
When Nelson started asking more detailed questions about the victim and Nye’s sexual activity, the victim stated that “this line of questioning is super uncomfortable for me.”
Nelson scoffed, and Judge Shelleyanne Chang asked the victim to “just answer the question, please.”
The victim did not believe they engaged in any consensual sexual violence that night.
The victim went back to the bedroom following this, and after some time, she returned to the living room where she asked him to come to bed again. She said she did not remember his response, other than “some form of no.”
She testified that she was “upset and crying” because she “did not know why he was acting the way he was.” She then explained that she was getting a little scared because she felt like she did not know this person.
The victim testified that her memory of the trauma and the events following was spotty, something she has experienced with other traumatic events in her life.
PD Nelson asked the victim, “Can a spotty memory mean your memory is influenced by what other people say?” to which the victim replied, “No.”
The victim explained that she had lived with an abuser for two years and experienced trauma from this. She also appeared in court to get a restraining order from her abuser two years prior.
After asking Nye to come to bed with her again, the victim said she remembered Nye grabbing her jaw, then feeling pain and the impact of a closed fist connecting with her left eye twice.
The victim believed she was unconscious at this point because she “lost time,” meaning there was time unaccounted for following the incident.
Although she testified to drinking a bottle of wine from the time she was picked up to the time she went to bed, she said this had no impact on her behavior at the time of the incident or on her memory of the event. The victim explained that she was a regular drinker, and finishing a bottle of wine was not unusual.
The victim also testified to Deputy District Attorney Teal Ericson that she takes herbal supplements for her chronic pain, depression, and anxiety, but that these have no effect on her behavior or memory as well.
After the victim “came to,” she said she could barely see out of her eye and knew she was bleeding profusely when she saw blood all over her surroundings, including her clothes, and dripping down her face.
After attempting to wash her face in the bathroom, she grabbed a cold pack and pressed it to her face to reduce swelling.
The victim explained that the defendant was “trying to hurry her” and had his car packed up with all her belongings. She explained she felt compliance with him was necessary because she “just wanted to get to a safer place.”
Nye drove her home, and the victim explained she was unaware of where Nye went after leaving her belongings on her front door step.
DDA Ericson then showed the courtroom photographs of the victim’s face at the time of the incident, after stitches, and in the months after when her face was healing.
“Your brain is trying to protect yourself,” the victim explained. “I do not try to go back and remember one of the worst nights of my life.”
At another point in the testimony, Nelson said to the victim, “You said you had spent only one night [at his house] prior to this.” But the victim corrected him: “I said two to three.”
Defense attorney Nelson then stated, “I would never ask these sorts of things…” but then proceeded to ask how much the victim weighed, and if she was bigger than the defendant.
The victim replied that she was not bigger than him, to her knowledge, and that Nye was also taller than her, once Nelson asked how tall they were.
PD Nelson then jumped back to the events following the incident and asked the victim why she never thought about locking the door in order to make herself safe once Nye was outside packing the car, especially given her prior history of trauma.
“Wouldn’t you want to make yourself safe first?” Nelson asked.
“Not necessarily,” the victim replied. “I was trying to figure out if I could see.” She further explained that she did not feel safe doing that, and she also respected Nye’s grandparents who live in front of Nye’s residence.
When Nelson was recalling the events that the victim testified to once she was at her own home, he again misstated her testimony.
“And it takes a while for your mother to wake up, right?,” he asked.
“No, that’s not what I said,” the victim stated.
“Are you sure your mother did not implant that memory into you?” Nelson asked.
The victim explained that she was sure because, as she previously testified, her mother asked her, “What happened?”
The court found Nye should stand trial, set for July 19.
Natasha Feuerstein is a senior at UC Davis majoring in Political Science and minoring in Global Disease Biology. She is originally from Camden, Delaware.
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