LOGAN — Former Utah State University football standout Torrey Green was ordered Wednesday to stand trial on sexual assault allegations involving seven different women.
Prosecutors presented closing arguments recapping the women's testimonies from a three-day preliminary hearing last month and highlighting the similarities between their accounts.
On the stand, the women described how they met Green while he was playing football at USU between 2013 and 2015. Four of the women connected with Green on the dating app Tinder. One met him at a party. Green walked up and introduced himself to two more on campus.
The women said Green made a good first impression, on several occasions talking warmly about his family, and then quickly pushed to spend time with them. But the first time each of the women was alone with Green, they described how he wouldn't listen as they told him to stop kissing, touching or undressing them.
Green, who is from Rubidoux, California, graduated from USU in early 2016 and was signed as a rookie linebacker for the Atlanta Falcons. He was dropped by the NFL team in August after the sexual assault allegations began to surface, and he is currently being held without bail in the Cache County Jail.
In total, Green is charged with six counts of rape, a first-degree felony; aggravated kidnapping, a first-degree felony; two counts of object rape, a first-degree felony; and two counts of forcible sexual abuse, a second-degree felony.
First District Judge Brian Cannell ruled on each of the seven separate cases Wednesday that there is probable cause to support the 10 sex-related charges and ordered Green to stand trial.
A decision from the judge is still pending, however, on the aggravated kidnapping charge, as Cannell asked for additional briefing from both sides before issuing a ruling. Cannell could make a determination following a conference call about the matter scheduled for June 6.
Green's attorney, Skye Lazaro, contended Wednesday that prosecutors haven't sufficiently distinguished between allegations Green unlawfully detained a woman, identified as L.P. in court documents, and charges that he inappropriately touched the woman without her consent. The kidnapping charge cannot be part of the alleged assault, Lazaro argued, but must be distinct.
Prosecutors Barb Lachmar and Spencer Walsh, however, argued that Green would not let L.P. leave as he ignored the woman's objections, including catching her and pulling her back down when she tried to get up. This went on for the entire time L.P. was with Green, Lachmar said, about the time it took for a movie they had rented to play in the background.
As he rendered his decisions, Cannell repeated several times that the bind-over decision is not a finding of guilt.
Lazaro argued against binding over each of the cases, citing gaps in some of the women's accounts or inconsistencies between their testimonies and what some of their friends recalled them saying about the alleged assaults shortly after they happened. Lazaro also pointed to a lack of physical evidence in the cases, some of which were reported two years after the fact, or argued that the encounters were consensual.
Lazaro did not comment about the judge's decision as she left the courthouse.
Following the hearing, Walsh commended the seven alleged victims for coming forward and reporting the alleged attacks to police.
"We're very grateful for the victims in these cases, for the courage in reporting to law enforcement, and also their courage in coming into the courtroom and testifying at these preliminary hearings," Walsh said.
Walsh and Lachmar noted Wednesday how several of the women testified that even as they fought the college linebacker, Green responded by telling them, "I know you want to," or "I know you like it."
One woman, identified in court documents as V.G., testified that after Green raped her, he asked, "You're not the kind of girl who would report a rape, are you? Because that would ruin my career."Comment on this story
Another woman, identified in court documents as C.H., said Green made a similar comment to her after raping her. When she asked what he meant, he allegedly explained, "I've had friends go away for a lot less than this."
In order to show jurors the pattern Green has followed as he allegedly assaulted each of the women, prosecutors are seeking the ability to introduce evidence from all of the cases at each of Green's seven separate trials under a "doctrine of chances" motion.
"We feel like that would put a jury in a better position to make a decision on these cases," Walsh said.
Walsh declined to comment on whether plea negotiations have or will be offered to Green.