Friday, March 1, 2013

University of Montana Rape Trial Goes to Jury Today

Posted By on Fri, Mar 1, 2013 at 9:22 AM

A jury is expected to hear final arguments today and begin considering the fate of the former University of Montana football team quarterback, charged in the February 2012 rape of a coed.

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

Following the incident, 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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