Star Montana Quarterback Takes the Stand, Denies Rape Allegations
(MISSOULA, Mont.) — Jordan Johnson, the former star quarterback at the University of Montana, is accused of raping a classmate and former acquaintance. Taking the stand on Wednesday, he insisted he is not guilty. It’s being called a classic case of “he-said-she-said.”
The incident happened last February, but the 21-year-old alleged victim, whose name is not being reported, didn’t tell authorities until more than a month after the night of the incident.
The accuser told authorities that the two had spent time together before the incident but were still getting to know each other. According to her affidavit, she sent a text message to a friend shortly after the incident, saying, “Omg, I think I might have just gotten raped … he kept pushing and pushing and I said no but he wouldn’t listen.”
Johnson said she invited him to watch a movie in her room and ultimately picked him up. Johnson testified that he had consumed four or five beers at the time and didn’t want to drive.
The prosecution argued that shortly after Johnson arrived in her room, things got ugly, that Johnson positioned himself on top of the alleged victim and became aggressive.
The next day, according to court documents, she went to the University of Montana Student Assault Resource Center and had a medical exam, where the prosecution said bruises were discovered.
Johnson is charged with sexual intercourse without consent — a felony with a maximum sentence of 100 years in prison. While defendants are not required to testify in a criminal trial, Johnson told jurors Wednesday that he wants people to know what happened.
The defense described the victim as a spurned woman who was jealous of a relationship Johnson was having with another woman he recently started seeing. They pointed to the alleged victim’s conflicting text messages to support their argument. In one text to a friend, the alleged victim wrote, “I don’t think he did anything wrong.”
Rape is said to be the most common violent crime on American college campuses today. In nearly 90 percent of those cases the rape is by an acquaintance, not a stranger.
Due to Johnson’s high profile and investigations by the U.S. Department of Justice and the NCAA, the case has made national headlines, with some calling it “trial by Twitter” due to the immense media attention.
The jury can decide the case as early as Friday.
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