By PETER CHRISTIAN for KGVO radio
The Missoula County District Court has set a February 8th date for the rape trial of suspended University of Montana quarterback Jordan Johnson.
Missoula County Attorney Fred Van Valkenburg says the judge has set aside 11 days for the trial, in which Johnson is accused of raping a female acquaintance at her home in February of 2012.
Van Valkenburg says the defense has asked for access to potentially thousands of text messages on the cell phone belonging to he alleged victim. Van Valkenburg says many of those texts have nothing whatsoever to do with the case, and the judge will have to make the final determination as to whether Johnson’s defense team may have access to them.
In the interview attached below, Van Valkenburg says the Missoulian ‘overplayed’ the matter of how many prosecuting attorneys will be working on the case, and that ‘it is not true that there are five attorneys assigned to the case’. He says Deputy County Attorney Suzy Boylan has been assigned to prosecute the case, and that the Montana Attorney General’s office has provided an attorney from their prosecutor services bureau to assist her. He says another Missoula attorney, Adam Deurk, is helping on the case on a pro bono basis.Van Valkenburg says he and Deputy County Attorney Jennifer Clark provided some assistance to Boylan at the outset.
Van Valkenburg says because of the high-profile nature of the case, the prosecutor’s office is asking the judge for a large jury pool, in order to find jurors who have not already formed an opinion as to the guilt or innocence of the defendant. He says neither he nor the defense has entertained the idea of a change of venue for the trial.
If found guilty of sexual intercourse without consent, Johnson could receive a maximum sentence of up to 100 years in prison, and or a $50,000 fine.
The trial will begin February 8th, 2013 in Missoula District Court.
Hi! I’m Peter Christian with KGVO Radio. I’ve been married to Lorna for 31 years and have two kids…Luke, 26, and Jenna, 23. I’ve been in radio since 1973… and along with being the anchor of Montana Morning on KGVO and KLYQ, I also own Peter Christian Communications… a company that writes and produces radio spots for stations from Boston to Honolulu. See more of Peter Christian’s blogs.
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