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Alleged Plaza Hotel rape victim testifies in tears

A woman takes the stand to describe an alleged attack. 

A woman who says she was raped by a man who is part of a Saudi prince's entourage broke down in tears as she described the alleged attack in court this morning.

In a trial that began Monday in Manhattan's State Supreme Court, Mustapha Ouanes, 60, is accused of raping the then-26-year-old woman, a bartender. Prosecutors say that after the two met at a West Village bar in January 2010, Ouanes invited the woman and her friend back to his Plaza suite for breakfast.

There, prosecutors say, the women passed out, and the woman who testified said she awoke to Ouanes having sex with her. She felt “dizzy,” she said.

She also said she remembered a strange, brown film on the orange juice she had been drinking before falling asleep.



Defense lawyers say that the encounter was consensual and that the women made up the claim after he refused to pay them for sex.



The defense attorney, Aaron Mysliwiec, questioned her about what happened after she left the Plaza. The woman said she could not remember exactly what she told nurses and police at the hospital, where she had reported the alleged rape after her friend called hotel security.

“I was hysterical,” she said. “I don’t remember times. I wasn’t keeping notes.”



At one point, in clear frustration, she told Mysliwiec, “How many ways do you want me to tell you no, I don’t remember?”



When prosecutors asked her to explain why she did not recall each detail, she broke down in tears, as a judge handed her a tissue.



“I just was a mess at that point,” she said. “I couldn’t take it anymore, just the questions, the whole next morning. It was the worst experience of my life. … I was trying to forget everything that happened.”