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Jury Selection Begins in Rape Case

Jury Selection Begins in Rape Case



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Sam Penrod reporting More than a year after rape allegations rocked the BYU football program, two former players are now on trial in the case.

60 potential jurors were brought to court this morning and by the end of today, nine of them will be seated to hear this case. They will have to decide if two former BYU football players are innocent or guilty of the charges against them.

The two defendants in this case are BJ Mathis and Ibrahim Rashada. Both are fighting the allegations against them.

Jury Selection Begins in Rape Case

Prosecutors have charged them with aggravated sexual assault, dealing in harmful material to a minor, giving alcohol to a minor and obstructing justice.

The case goes back a year ago at an off-campus Provo apartment complex, where a then 17-year-old girl told police that the men gave her vodka, showed her a pornographic video and then raped her.

Two other suspects were also charged, but have already resolved the involvement by pleading guilty to lesser charges. Those former players, William Turner and Karland Bennett, will be called to testify against their former teammates in this case.

Both BJ Mathis and Ibrahim Rashada still proclaim their innocence and have not accepted any plea bargains, despite the most serious charge which carries a mandatory sentence of at least five years to life in prison if they are convicted.

Jury selection is taking a break here for the lunch hour and will resume this afternoon.

Eight jurors and one alternate will be selected and opening arguments in the case will begin in the morning.

The trial is expected to take seven days.

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