Montana

Aug 8, 2012 12:50 AM by MTN News

Attorneys reviewing 1,000 pages of texts in Jordan Johnson's case

MISSOULA - Suspended Griz quarterback Jordan Johnson made his first court appearance Tuesday morning and pleaded not guilty to a rape charge.

Court documents say the victim told investigators Johnson forced himself on top of her, held her down and raped her. She said she told Johnson "no" multiple times, but he didn't listen and she was afraid he would hit her if she resisted. Johnson told investigators the sex was consensual.

In court Tuesday morning, Assistant Chief Deputy Missoula County Attorney Suzy Boylan told the judge she's about a quarter of the way through about a thousand pages of text messages, including some that were exchanged between Johnson and the alleged victim.

"I have been making steady progress going through them, but I'm not done. I believe that a number of them will need to be redacted, so my plan is to disclose that to the defense as soon as I can," said Boylan.

She also said it would take her two more weeks to finish reviewing those messages.

In the meantime, the judge will allow Johnson to go back home to Eugene, Ore., until he comes back to the University of Montana in a few weeks.

David Paoli, one of Johnson's attorneys, said his defendant will be in school this fall. "The complaining witness will be in school this fall and there is no problem at all with regard to that. They went to school together, quite frankly, last spring with no problems with civil order of protection in place and I don't anticipate at all any problems this fall," Paoli said.

Boylan said UM is taking steps to make sure Johnson and the alleged victim don't cross paths.

And before they left the courtroom, Johnson's attorneys filed a motion asking for the rape charge to be dropped.

"We have prepared a motion to dismiss the charge on the grounds that it lacks probable cause and on the grounds that the state omitted material and critical facts in its affidavit of probable cause," said Kirsten Pabst, who's also Johnson's defense attorney.

The prosecutors will have to respond to this motion by August 21st and the defense will have until August 31st to reply to the prosecutions response.

Meanwhile, Johnson was released without bail, with conditions of release that include no alcohol, bars or drugs. His next court hearing is set for Aug. 21. The judge excused Johnson from that hearing, so only his attorneys have to be there.

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