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When the bars closed for the night, Claire and Laura shuffled out with the rest of the crowd onto Fifth Avenue.
In another part of the apartment, Laura was sitting and chatting with Jonas.CLAIRE’S RAPEOn a Saturday night in October 2013, Claire, then 31, went out with her friend, let’s call her Laura, for a girl’s night out in San Diego’s trendy Gaslamp Quarter. At Analog, a bar advertising “good food and strong drinks,” Claire ordered a glass of champagne, then a Fireball shot, followed by a pear cider, while Laura drank vodka sodas.They ran into a bachelorette party and took another shot, a cactus cooler.The two men were instructors in the community of pickup artists—men who obsessively study and practice methods of meeting and sleeping with as many women as possible.Some men in the community say pickup is about self-actualization, and finding meaning in their lives.After several rounds, sometime around midnight or 1 a.m., the women left and crossed the street to a different bar—the Tipsy Crow—for two more drinks: a lemon drop shot and a cocktail.
Just what Claire drank that night, at what times and in what quantities, would become the subject of intense scrutiny over the next three years; her state of drunkenness was at the heart of the state’s argument as well as Alex Smith’s defense.
The prosecution says that Claire had been too drunk to consent to sex, Alex’s defense attorney says she couldn’t have been that drunk.
Claire was tipsy, then slightly tipsier, as she remembers it.
She remembers stumbling and someone with a receding hairline “pushing her along,” leading her to an apartment building.
She remembers being in a semi-furnished bedroom on a mattress without a headboard. The sip she took didn’t taste like water, maybe it was alcohol?
Jonas received eight years in state prison for the two rapes; his student Jason faces a maximum eight-year sentence.