Survivor Stories: A Case and a Denial

Kaylah Oates-Marable, a grad student at Georgia State, completed her undergraduate degree at Georgia State in 2019. After seeing the other three women come forward on Twitter, she followed suit by sharing her story as well.

In February 2018, she met Trequavius Thomas on Twitter, against whom she would later present a sexual misconduct case to the Dean of Students. 

Their story shows the duality of the aftermath of a sexual misconduct accusation on both sides, when there are two different stories.

After two weeks of knowing each other, Oates-Marable said the two went to a party together, where they had a disagreement about another man at the party, in which Thomas asked her if she was talking to the other man. When she said she wasn’t, he said he didn’t believe her.

“I was really drunk; it was like being in a movie where the scenes flash back and forth. I know at some point in the night I asked him to take me home,” she said. “It wasn’t until I was sitting on a bench at the party starting to fall asleep, and then the next thing I knew, I was in his car — that’s when I realized how drunk I was.”

According to Oates-Marable, the next thing she knew, she was in his bed with him on top of her, his fingers inside of her. It wasn’t until then that she realized she wasn’t at her own house and that they were at his place. She remembers him telling her, “I went through your phone, and you lied about the guy at the party, but that’s ok, though,” and kissed her forehead and rolled over.

“Kissing someone on a forehead is such an intimate thing; for him to do that with someone he didn’t know — who he had just done something terrible to — it was disgusting, it was creepy,” she said. “It’s such a gentle, caring act. But he had just done something so not caring.”

She said when she woke up in the morning, she asked him, “Did you go through my phone last night?” And he said, “Oh, you remember that?” 

“This man did not think I would remember what he had done to me,” she said.

When it first happened, Oates-Marable said she was really depressed. 

“My biggest fear is that I will never be fully whole again. It’s like a broken vase that’s now a thousand pieces of shattered glass; you can put it together, but it will never be the same,” she said.

But now, she says she feels empowered and hopes other men read these stories and know how terrible this is and call out their friends.

“I thought that no one was going to believe me. But people believe me,” she said. “I feel heard, I feel supported. I feel like I matter. I feel like my voice matters.”

Oates-Marable said that multiple women have come forward since she has shared her story about incidents they have also experienced with Thomas.

While Thomas admits he did go through her phone, he says he never touched her inappropriately. 

“Yes, I was wrong to go through her phone, I was wrong to cuddle with her while she was intoxicated,” he said. “But for her to add details that I penetrated her is terrifying … details like that can ruin a person’s life.”

Thomas said that while he considers himself an ally to survivors, this experience has changed him.

“I had to go to counseling; I tried to kill myself, I was going through it,” Thomas said. “I’ve had people call me sick, call me a predator. I’m not a predator, I’m not.”

Thomas said after getting to a good place, he feels that when Oates-Marable posted the accusation on Twitter, it was to give herself a platform.

In a letter from the Dean of Students to Thomas on May 18, 2018, it was alleged that Thomas sexually assaulted Oates-Marable. 

The letter notes he was found responsible for all of the charges based on the evidence that Thomas had provided her with alcohol while at the party, and he had admitted to touching her butt and kissing her on the forehead while she was asleep in his bed. As a result, he was subject to complete Sexual Misconduct Training.

Read the letter Oates-Marable received from the Dean of Students on the case decision below.