Thursday, February 21, 2013

Emotional Testimony in University of Montana Rape Trial

Posted By on Thu, Feb 21, 2013 at 9:11 AM

A packed Missoula, Mont., courtroom listened to a University of Montana dean recall how a young woman wept in the dean's arms after seeing her accused rapist, the U of M football quarterback, on campus.

This morning's Missoulian reports that Lori Morin, assistant dean of student affairs at the U of M School of Pharmacy, said the young woman was "absolutely terrified."

"She was just sobbing uncontrollably," Morin told the courtroom. "She hugged onto me and would not let go. She was just so scared."

Jordan Johnson faces a maximum penalty of 100 years in prison
if he is convicted of the February 2012 rape. Johnson, who was dismissed from the football team after the charges were filed, argues that the sex was consensual.

But Morin testified that "no one can just fake what she was experiencing."

Prosecution testimony is expected to continue today and Johnson's attorneys are expected to begin their defense as early as Friday.

The U.S. Justice Department and the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights both launched separate investigations into allegations of sexual assault at the University of Montana. The Justice Department cited more than 80 reported rapes in Missoula in three years, including at least 11 student-related cases in recent months.

A Justice Department spokesman said in May 2012 that feds are focusing on complaints that local law enforcement failed to properly investigate and prosecute sexual assaults on women in Missoula because of gender discrimination.

The local economy of Missoula—a city of approximately 86,000—depends heavily on Montana's flagship research institution.

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