One of the six women who accused Clay Conaway of sex crimes testified on Tuesday that she couldn’t “imagine” the former University of Delaware baseball pitcher would want to get to know her when the two connected through an online dating app.
The woman, in her early 20s, described to a Sussex County jury the brief online dalliance that led her to the defendants’ Georgetown home where she said he raped her.
It started with the two matching on the dating application Bumble in May 2018.
“OMG I matched with a Delaware baseball player,” the accuser said, reading a text message sent at the time to her close friend. “He is so hot I’m screaming.”
The News Journal does not publish names or specific identifying details of potential sex crimes victims without their consent.
DAY 1: Dating app, text messages fuel start of rape trial for former UD pitcher
The woman said she was on the app because it was the best way for a woman her age to meet new people. She had just gotten out of year-and-a-half-long relationship and told her friends she thought she might just want to hook up with someone.
To her, that didn’t mean “necessarily have sex,” but a relationship that would not be “super serious” and not long term, she told the jury.
She was excited that Conaway was a university baseball player. She said he “seemed out of my league.”
She was initially concerned his online profile might have actually been another person using Conaway’s photos, a scheme known in the online dating worlds as catfishing.
That concern was allayed as their conversation quickly moved from Bumble to Snapchat and the two connected on other social media applications.
Conaway also sent her photographs of himself, including at least one nude selfie. She told the court the picture was not solicited. She told her friends the picture made Conaway’s intent on the dating application “pretty clear.”
In opening statements Monday, defense attorney Natalie Woloshin said such text messages show that the accuser knew what was going to happen when she agreed to meet.
“She knew he was on Bumble to hook up. She knew he wasn’t looking for a relationship,” Woloshin said Monday. “And with all this, she willingly drove over to Clay Conaway’s house.”
On Tuesday, the accuser told the jury she warned Conaway that “she was not a hookup kind of girl” and was “not just looking” for “hookups,” she told the jury. She added that Conaway responded that he was looking for someone to “hang out and hook up,” reciting a text message conversation with her friend for the jury.
In other text messages read in court, the woman tells her friend that she told Conaway she was “not comfortable” with the “hit it” and “quit it deal” and said he told her there was “no pressure.” Later in that string of texts, she told her friend that she was “still worried about it.”
BACKGROUND: Why former UD pitcher Clay Conaway, charged with 6 rapes, could face six trials
She said Conaway was “so persistent” in his efforts to meet. She told her friend she was unsure if she wanted to yet because she had gotten a “surprise period.” She told the jury she was having cramps, wasn’t comfortable and didn’t want to be around strangers.
Her testimony ended Tuesday before she could give a description of what happened when the two did meet. She will continue her testimony and be subjected to defense attorney cross examination on Wednesday.
Court records set out that the two met where Conaway lived, that they were engaged in consensual kissing and cuddling and that she says he ultimately had sex with her against her will.
On Tuesday, the first day of witnesses testimony in the case, the jury also heard from those who were among the first to be contacted by the accuser after her interaction with Conaway.
One close friend said that the accuser called her crying and asked to meet with her. Less than half an hour later, the woman was crying in her car telling her about how he had sex with her against her will, she told the jury.
“She was shaking,” the friend said.
She told the jury about accompanying the woman to the hospital that night and sleeping at her house so she didn’t have to be alone.
One man, who had befriended the accuser weeks earlier, told the jury she called him shortly after leaving Conaway’s home. He told the jury she sounded upset and said that she had been sexually assaulted.
Joe Hurley, one of Conaway’s defense attorneys, pointed out that the man had previously told police that the accuser told him that: “I think I just got raped.”
Hurley also pressed the man whether he knew whether the accuser was upset because “someone forced themselves on me” or because “I gave into something I really didn’t’ want to do.”
“She told me what was upsetting her,” the witness replied. “She told me she was raped.”
The trial is the first of potentially six separate proceedings involving six different women that accuse Conaway of rape or attempted rape. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Reporter Maddy Lauria contributed to this article.
Contact Xerxes Wilson at (302) 324-2787 or email@example.com. Follow @Ber_Xerxes on Twitter.