Rape trial of ex-Utah State football player begins
BRIGHAM CITY, Utah (AP) — Defense attorneys for a former Utah State football player accused of sexually assaulting six women said during opening statements Monday that the women reported they had been assaulted because they wanted attention.
Prosecutors countered that Torrey Green was a predator who planned out his attacks in advance.
The dueling descriptions came during the opening of a trial for Green, 25, who is charged with sexually assaulting the women from 2013 to 2015, when he was a student.
Prosecutors said Green, of California, used the dating app Tinder to meet women who did not know each other. Many said he took them into a room and put on a movie shortly before the assault and told them they would enjoy it.
“Defendant does not take no for an answer,” said deputy Cache County attorney Barbara Lachmar, the Deseret News reported .
Defense attorney Skye Lazaro said the trial is not a case of rape but opportunity, with criminal charges only filed after Green signed a contract to play football with the Atlanta Falcons.
“He should be wearing Super Bowl ring but because these women were upset . he is here,” Lazaro said, the Herald Journal in Logan reported.
Green was released from his contract when the allegations became public in 2016 after the Salt Lake Tribune reported that the football player had been accused of sexual assault several times, but never charged.
The story prompted the Cache County Attorney’s Office to review the reports and prosecutors charged Green with 12 felonies, including rape, forcible sex abuse, object rape and aggravated kidnapping.
Lazaro asked jurors to listen carefully and assess the credibility of the witnesses, pointing out that some allegations were reported years later.
One woman who testified Monday said she reported her 2013 attack in 2016, after seeing news reports that Green was accused of assaulting other women. The Associated Press does not typically identify alleged victims of sexual assault.
She testified that he made dinner for her and they talked about music and eventually he invited her to his room. That’s where he eventually overpowered and assaulted her, she said.
“It was a struggle,” she testified. “I was really scared.”