Accuser testifies at trial of man charged in multiple rapes
GEORGETOWN, Del. (AP) — A woman who claims she was sexually assaulted by a former University of Delaware baseball player accused of multiple rapes told a jury Tuesday that she was surprised when he agreed to connect with her on an online dating site.
“He was a UD baseball player, and I was surprised that he would match with me,” the woman said, recounting how she connected with Clay Conaway on the meeting site Bumble. “He seemed just somewhat out of my league. ... I couldn’t imagine that he would want to get to know me.”
The alleged victim is one of six women that Conaway, 23, is accused of sexually assaulting between 2013 and 2018. She was to resume testifying Wednesday.
The woman, 21, shared her excitement about connecting with Conaway in text messages with friends, sharing screenshots of his Bumble profile and his Instagram page, which she said she still follows.
“OMG I matched with a Delaware baseball player. ... He’s so hot I’m screaming,” the woman texted to a friend.
She also testified that the day after she and Conaway connected on Bumble in May 2018, Conaway sent her a nude photo of himself on Snapchat. In a text exchange with a friend, she estimated the size of his genitalia and expressed amusement about receiving the photo. The friend advised that she block Conaway from her Snapchat account.
“I’ll keep him but now I know what he’s on Bumble for,” the woman responded, explaining to the jury that she understood then that “he was not on there to necessarily date.”
A week later, the woman, who had recently broken up with her boyfriend, told a friend in a text that she wanted “to hook up with somebody.”
“I think I’ve made up my mind,” added the woman, who explained to the jury that hooking up didn’t necessarily mean having sex, but also was not something “super serious.”
In a message to her friend, the woman named five men, including Conaway, whom she could “hit up.”
Two weeks later, she drove to Conaway’s house, where she says he raped her.
The Associated Press does not typically identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they come forward publicly.
Earlier Tuesday, former high school classmate Carey Karl, who described the accuser as her best friend, recounted a text exchange with her shortly before she met Conaway.
“I know that he just wants to have sex so I don’t know how to feel about that to be honest,” the woman wrote. She also indicated that she had told Conaway that she was not comfortable with “the whole hit it and quit it deal,” and that he understood.
Karl said the woman called her later that day crying, saying she wanted to talk and didn’t want to go home. The two sat for about an hour in Karl’s car before she and the woman’s mother convinced her to go to the hospital to be examined.
“She was shaking and kind of hunched over. ... She told me that she had ended up having sex and that she didn’t want to,” Karl said.