Saifullah Khan (Dari/Pashto: سيف الله خان) is a native of Afghanistan and a former undergraduate at Yale University. Originally a member of the Yale College Class of 2016, Khan was suspended by the University on 9 November 2015 and was arrested by the Yale Police Department three days later after being accused of raping a fellow student on Halloween Night 2015. Following a trial that began in February 2018, on 7 March 2018 Khan was found not guilty of sexual assault in the first, second, third, and fourth degrees.
Background and Early Life
Khan was a Cognitive Science major and member of Trumbull College. Outside of the classroom, Khan was a member of Jewish secret society Shabtai, and served on the Yale College Council as well as on the executive board of the Muslim Students Association. Khan also cofounded a student think tank called Prologue Strategies.
Rape Accusation and Aftermath
At 5:45pm on the evening of Halloween 2015, Khan and his accuser, Jane Doe, met for dinner at the Trumbull College dining hall. Khan asked to come to Doe's room after dinner, which Doe declined. After going their separate ways, at 10:00pm Doe and two friends arrived at a party hosted by Shabtai, where Khan happened to be manning the door. At the party, Doe consumed two rums and Coke, one shot of liquor and two cups of white wine.
At midnight, Doe left with four other students to attend the Yale Symphony Orchestra's annual Halloween show at Woolsey Hall. Unable to produce her ticket due to her intoxicated state, Doe reunited with Khan and the two proceeded to the second-floor balcony, where Doe vomited not long after being seated. After Khan escorted her outside to vomit again, the pair were refused reëntry due to Doe's advanced intoxication.
The pair returned to Doe's room at Trumbull College, where Doe and Khan proceeded to have vaginal intercourse; Khan maintains the encounter was consensual, while Doe alleges she was overpowered and raped.
On 2 November 2015, Doe visited the Yale Sexual Harassment and Assault Response & Education center to report the incident, where an administrator contacted the Yale Police Department. After the YPD opened an investigation, Khan was suspended by the University on 9 November 2015 and arrested on 12 November 2015.
The case finally went to trial on 26 February 2018. After hearing testimony from about a dozen witnesses, the case went to a six-person jury for deliberation on 6 March 2018, after which it took the jury less than four hours to find Khan not guilty of sexual assault in the first, second, third, and fourth degrees.