BYU Baseball Player Charged with Rape

BYU Baseball Player Charged with Rape

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PROVO, Utah (AP) -- A former pitcher for the Brigham Young University baseball team has been accused of raping a 15-year-old girl.

Samuel Lewis Fernley, 21, is charged with first-degree rape and four misdemeanor counts of supplying alcohol to minors.

Fernley, a native of Long Beach, Calif., waived his right to a preliminary hearing Wednesday.

Fernley could face 15 years to life in prison if convicted, but Utah County Deputy Attorney Sherry Ragan and Fernley's lawyer, Matt Jube, indicated both sides were close to a plea bargain.

"There is a potential resolution in the works," Jube said.

Fernley is scheduled to enter a plea Jan. 21.

Fernley allegedly provided beer to the girl and at least three teenage boys at his home July 18, Provo police detective DeVon Jensen said. Formal charges weren't filed until Oct. 8.

"The victim was trying to clean herself up after being sick," Jensen said. He said the girl told police the alleged assault happened in the bathroom.

Fernley insists the incident was consensual, Jube said.

The 6-foot-4, 215-pound right-hander pitched for BYU in 2002, when he was second on the team with 20 appearances. He was 1-2 with one save and an ERA of 5.58, third-best on the team.

He did not enroll at the university this fall, but he was eligible to return to school for the spring semester. Fernley was expected to rejoin the Cougar pitching staff, baseball coach Vance Law said.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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