A judge on Monday ordered a former University of California at Berkeley student to stand trial on seven felony counts alleging that he sexually assaulted two female students in 2017 and this year.
Finn Wolff, 20, who was placed on interim suspension when he was charged on May 16 at the end of his sophomore year, remains free on the $750,000 cash bail that was posted by his father and is now living in Utah, where he grew up, according to his attorney Colin Cooper.
At the end of a preliminary hearing that spanned parts of three days, Alameda County Superior Court Judge Thomas Rogers ruled that prosecutor Emily Tienken produced sufficient evidence to have Wolff stand trial.
Wolff allegedly sexually assaulted one female student at a fraternity house in the 2400 block of Warring Street on Nov. 3, 2017, and another female student at an apartment house in the 2300 block of Warring Street on March 14 and 15 of this year.
Wolff, who was a member of the Psi Kappa Psi fraternity until it expelled him last December, is charged with three counts of forcible rape, one count of sexual penetration by a foreign object and one count of forcible oral copulation for the incident on Nov. 3, 2017, with the first victim, who’s known in court documents as Jane Doe 1.
Wolff is charged with sexual battery by restraint and forcible copulation for the case involving the second victim, known as Jane Doe 2, on March 14 and 15 of this year.
Cooper asked that Wolff not be ordered to stand trial on any of the charges involving Jane Doe 1, arguing that prosecutors failed to prove that it was unreasonable for him to believe that she had consented to have sex with him, as she spent three hours in a room with him at the fraternity and never tried to leave.
Cooper also alleged that Jane Doe 2 lied to the police about what happened.
The defense attorney argued there’s “a lack of reliability and credibility” on the part of both alleged victims.
But Tienken said Wolff groped Jane Doe 1, who testified last week, with so much force that she suffered bruises and puncture marks and Woolf continued to try to have sex with her after she told him to stop and that he was hurting her. Jane Doe 2 testified on Monday that when she and Woolf were on a balcony at the apartment building “he started grabbing me and punching me,” striking her in her eye and ribs, and then pulled his penis out and forced her to orally copulate him.
However, Jane Doe 2, who was dressed in blue jeans and a black sleeveless shirt, said she was able to run away from him after a short period.
Jane Doe 2 admitted that she and Woolf were kissing at one point but said, “Nothing that happened on the balcony was consensual.” Jane Doe 2 also said she had consumed large amounts of alcohol and marijuana that night.
Cooper said after the hearing that if the case goes to trial, he will produce numerous witnesses who will contradict Jane Doe 2’s assertion that her interaction with Woolf wasn’t consensual. Cooper told the judge at the end of the hearing that he will have discussions with prosecutors about possibly settling the case before it goes to trial.