Trial set for ex-USU football player Torrey Green in remaining rape case

Trial set for ex-USU football player Torrey Green in remaining rape case

(Eli Lucero, Pool photo)

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SALT LAKE CITY — A judge has declined to allow jurors to consider evidence from two prior sexual assaults as they weigh a remaining rape allegation against former Utah State University football standout Torrey Green.

First District Judge Brian Cannell denied prosecutors’ request Wednesday in 1st District Court in Brigham City, court records show. He set a six-day trial to begin Feb. 6 in Logan.

Green is now serving a sentence of at least 26 years in the Utah State Prison for raping five other women and sexually assaulting a sixth while at the university. His attorneys have indicated he seeks to appeal the guilty verdicts reached by a jury in January.

A judge had allowed the previous six women to testify in each other’s cases after prosecutors made a doctrine of chances argument, contending the more times similar events happen, the less likely they happened by accident.

Cannell agreed with prosecutors that each of the half-dozen women’s testimony was alike and dispelled the possibility that the allegations were invented. Their allegations ultimately were combined into one trial.

The judge ordered the seventh report of sexual assault to remain separate, finding that unlike the others, the woman in that case had met Green twice previously before she ran into him at a party in November 2015, where she reported she was raped in his bedroom. Cannell also noted it was the only instance where other people were present at the time.

However, like in previous cases, the woman said she resisted Green both physically and verbally, and that he told her she would enjoy sex with him, the judge said.

Green has not yet entered a plea to the charge of rape, a first-degree felony, and has maintained he did not carry out any of the earlier assaults. He was signed to the Atlanta Falcons as a rookie linebacker but was dropped from the team when the allegations surfaced in 2016.

In recent court filings, prosecutors asked the judge to reconsider and to allow evidence from two of the prior rapes in the pending case. They alleged that just as in the two prior assaults, Green had met his victim recently and had no sexual history with her.

Green’s attorney, Michael McGinnis, pointed out in court papers the judge had already ruled on the issue. He said the evidence doesn’t meet the threshold to be included and the doctrine of chances is a contentious rule the Utah Court of Appeals weighs multiple times each year.

On Nov. 21, 2015, after a night of drinking, a friend of the woman’s warned her not to go into Green’s room but the woman told her, “I’m just going to kiss him. Nothing else is going to happen,” prosecutors allege. But Green is accused of raping her and telling her, “I’m the biggest on the team” when she told him no.

After hearing banging on the door, Green went to open it and the girl ran out crying and found her friends, court documents say. She told friends and a sexual assault nurse examiner what she says happened before any news coverage of the other assaults surfaced.

At the request of both parties, the judge ordered the trial be moved back to Logan. Green’s prior defense team had successfully argued in the last case that he would not get a fair trial there.

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