‘I was afraid.’ Man set to stand trial for alleged sexual assault of Penn State student

The Centre County Courthouse on Nov. 1, 2018.
The Centre County Courthouse on Nov. 1, 2018. Centre Daily Times, file

The Penn State student who accused a California man of sexually assaulting her testified Wednesday that he sent her an Instagram message a day later to apologize and said he “didn’t want to ruin his entire life because of one stupid night.”

The 20-year-old sophomore testified at the preliminary hearing for Jayden Barnes, an 18-year-old from Mission Viejo, who was charged Jan. 17 with two felony counts of aggravated indecent assault and two misdemeanors.

She told Penn State police Barnes invited her to spend an October night at her friends’ dorm room a few weeks after they went on a date.

The two agreed to be friends, but she testified Wednesday that they were “spooning” as she went to sleep after drinking alcohol earlier that night. She testified she was “in the middle between buzzed and drunk.”

Barnes allegedly asked her if she “wanted to take it back to his room,” but she testified she was confused and ignored him because the two “weren’t doing anything.”

Instead, she drifted in and out of consciousness as Barnes allegedly sexually assaulted her.

“I just kind of laid there,” she testified. “I was afraid if he knew that I was awake it would turn more violent.”

She also testified she did not try to push him away, tell him to stop or request a medical exam.

When the two returned to the room later that night, she testified she threw a stuffed animal at him and asked why he allegedly assaulted her.

“(I was) scared. Sad. I remember I was shaking. Crying,” she testified. “I was mad about what just happened.”

Hope Kumpf, a mutual friend of the two, also testified Barnes called her after the alleged assault to ask about the timely warning sent out by Penn State University.

“Did you know (she) was asleep?” Kumpf testified she asked Barnes. “He said, ‘Yes.’ ”

In his closing statement, Barnes’ attorney Matt McClenahen argued the charges should be dismissed because the woman was alert and awake before the alleged assault.

Assistant District Attorney Megan McGoron disagreed.

“He took advantage of her when she was asleep,” McGoron said. “He knew what he was doing.”

District Judge Carmine Prestia Jr. told McClenahen he disagreed with his approach before binding Barnes over for trial on all charges.

Bret Pallotto primarily reports on courts and crime for the Centre Daily Times. He grew up in Lewistown and graduated from Lock Haven University.