According to Tyson's testimony, the victim then gave him her room number at the Omni. That night, Tyson said, he reached the accuser in her hotel room on his limo phone. Although she was already in bed, he persuaded her to join him. In his limo, Tyson said, they began kissing and touching. The limo took them to the Canterbury, a block away, and they went to Tyson's sixth-floor room. Tyson testified that he and the young woman went into the bedroom, sat on the bed and talked for 10 minutes about his pigeons and about her home and then started kissing. After both he and the young woman removed their clothes, Tyson said, he performed oral sex on her and they had intercourse on the bed. The only time she got irritated with him, Tyson testified, was when, after they had had sex, she asked him to walk her downstairs and he said he was too tired. She left his room alone.
The accuser's account of those events had been dramatically different from Tyson's. He did not speak lustfully to her the afternoon before the alleged rape, she had testified, and when he reached her on the phone after midnight, he promised to take her around town in the limo. She pulled back, she had said, when Tyson tried to kiss her in the limo. The accuser had testified that she went to Tyson's room alone with him after he said something to her about getting his bodyguard, and that Tyson lured her into his bedroom by saying he merely wanted to talk. She had said that after several minutes of conversation he removed all but his underwear while she was using the bathroom, attacked her when she came out and, despite her pleas to stop, raped her.
Tyson's testimony was lacking in plausibility and loaded with contradictions, and on cross-examination Garrison hammered away at Tyson's assertion that the accuser—who had been presented to the jury as a model citizen, an honor student and Sunday school teacher—had chirpily agreed to have sex with him 20 minutes after they met. Garrison also hammered at Tyson for having said that he couldn't remember having had a long sexual encounter with B Angie B on July 18, which the singer recalled vividly in her deposition, even as he purported to remember the smallest details of his brief meeting with the accuser.
Fuller's gambit had failed miserably; Tyson was his own worst witness. "Whenever they have to put the defendant on the stand, you know things are going well," said coprosecutor Barbara Trathen after the verdict was announced. Ultimately, with no eyewitness testimony to consider, the jury was left to weigh the accounts of the accuser and the accused. For one juror it came down to a simple detail. The young woman had testified that when she rushed from her room to join Tyson in his limo, she had taken her camera. She thought Tyson would show her the town and escort her to some of the celebrity-packed parties being held on the eve of the beauty pageant. "We asked ourselves, Why did she take the camera?" said the juror. "I thought she was under the impression she was going to go out and see the sights." After two weeks and 49 witnesses, such small points helped decide Tyson's fate. But the larger point was that they believed his accuser, not him.