BRIGHAM CITY — Former Utah State University football player Torrey Green was ordered Wednesday to serve at least 26 years and up to life in prison for the sexual assaults of six women.
"In the eyes of the law, you are a serial rapist," 1st District Judge Brian Cannell told Green just before issuing the sentence.
The sentence was issued following emotional statements from three women assaulted by Green who detailed the trauma and its lasting effect on their lives during the sentencing hearing. Two more submitted letters that were read aloud in court.
Judge has ordered Green to a sentence of at least 26 years in prison and up to life. "In the eyes of the law you are a serial rapist," the judge told Green, who turned to look at his family before he was led out of the room.— Annie Knox (@anniebknox) March 27, 2019
The judge agreed with prosecutors, who called for six back-to-back sentences that would treat the assaults separately and "provide them a lot of healing and a sense of justice.” Prosecutors argued that Green — who was found guilty in January of attacking six women the first time they were alone with him — has taken “zero accountability."
A shackled Green maintained through tears Wednesday that he did not hurt anyone.
“I’m horrified by the way these women described my encounter with each of them, and horrified that they accused me of taking their freedoms away in such a violent way," he said.
Green said he violated his religious beliefs by breaking the "law of chastity," but "I did not break the law. I’m not a monster."
His attorney Skye Lazaro asked for concurrent sentences, arguing he has no prior criminal history.
At trial, Green testified that four of the sexual encounters were consensual and two never happened. But a jury in January convicted him of assaulting all six women at different points from 2013 to 2015.
Lazaro had argued the women sought attention after Green signed an NFL contract, noting some came forward years after the assault. Prosecutors, however, focused on the similarities of the cases. They emphasized the women didn't know each other and stressed that reports of sexual crimes are often delayed.
He was found guilty of five counts of rape, a first-degree felony that carries a sentence of at least five years and up to life in prison, and one charge of sexual battery, a class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail.
Green, a former linebacker and broadcast journalism major originally from Rubidoux, California, signed a contract with the Atlanta Falcons but was dropped in 2016 when the allegations surfaced.
Also ahead of the sentencing, Green's former journalism instructor sent the court a letter of support.
Brian Champagne said he was originally "shocked to hear about the part of him that was tried and convicted of terrible crimes." The other part of Green, he said, is amiable and a hard worker who has demonstrated "a humbling change" in the last year, "though he was never cocky."
"I also know Torrey as a person is about more than the acts he has been convicted of, and I hope you can find a way that all parties can move on with lives that were just beginning," continued Champagne, who also works for a freelance journalist in Utah.
According to the Cache County Attorney's Office, 12 other allegations involving Green were brought to police but he has not been criminally charged in those cases. He awaits trial in another separate rape case.
But it was clear Green's victims didn't consent when they told him no, fought him to keep their clothes on and cried during the assaults, according to the prosecutor.
"These cases are 100 percent, crystal clear, non-consensual sexual violence," he said.
I also know Torrey as a person is about more than the acts he has been convicted of,.
–Brian Champagne, journalism instructor
In addition to the rape and sexual battery charges, Green was convicted of other counts of object rape, a first-degree felony; and forcible sexual abuse, a second-degree felony. The judge ordered concurrent sentences in those counts, which would run at the same time as the others.
After more than 16 hours of deliberation, the jury acquitted Green of aggravated kidnapping and object rape, both first-degree felonies, and another count of forcible sexual abuse, a second-degree felony.
A judge combined the six cases into one trial last year, in large part due to their similarities. No trial date has been set in the seventh case.