PROVO A former Brigham Young University football player said he knew he was wrong for allowing sexual activity to happen between a teenage girl and several fellow athletes last August.
"I feel like we shouldn't have (done) what we did," 18-year-old William Turner Jr. told the jury Monday morning. "It was wrong."
In the fourth day of the trial for B.J. Mathis and Ibrahim Rashada, Turner responded to questions about his role of providing alcohol to a then 17-year-old girl. Turner, who was also 17 at the time of the incident, is being tried in juvenile court in return for his testimony.
Mathis and Rashada, both 19, are being tried in 4th District Court on charges of aggravated sexual assault, dealing harmful material to a minor, furnishing alcohol to a minor and obstructing justice.
The charges stem from an August 2004 incident in which a 17-year-old Sandy girl said she accepted an invitation to Karland Bennett's apartment, where she drank vodka and watched a pornographic DVD with several men before passing out. She said when she awoke, she was being raped in the bedroom of the apartment.
The obstruction charge stems from allegations the men agreed to a plan to eliminate evidence by cleaning the apartment and to lie to police and BYU officials about the incident.
During his testimony Monday, Turner admitted he initially agreed to the plan.
"We started cleaning our apartment (because) we knew we had done something that was wrong," he said. "We took advantage of a girl that we shouldn't have."
But like Bennett and Billy Skinner, two other players who testified last week as part of plea agreements, Turner also maintained that the sexual activity was not forced and that the girl was not raped.
Turner testified that he, Rashada, Mathis and Bennett met the teenager from Sandy and her cousin at a Provo mall on Aug. 8, exchanged phone numbers and agreed to meet later that night.
When the group gathered at a University Villa apartment, Turner told the court he brought out a "big liter bottle" of vodka and everyone in the room started drinking. He said the girl's cousin left after the men started watching a pornographic DVD, but the 17-year-old girl went with Bennett to a bedroom.
Minutes after the two left, Turner said he and the other men in the living room went to see what was going on in the bedroom. Turner said the men were crouching so they wouldn't be seen. He said the room light was off, but light from a street lamp filtered through the blinds. Turner said the girl could see shapes and asked if anyone was in the room. Turner said the men didn't answer but moved closer and began to initiate sexual activity.
"She was in a daze," Turner told the jury and 4th District Court Judge Samuel McVey. "I could tell she was not fully aware a little conscious but not fully aware."
Although he couldn't see her face, Turner said her dazed state was apparent in her body language.
Turner said he watched from the side while Rashada and Mathis took turns performing various sexual acts with the girl.
"Did she ever object or contest to anything that was going on?" asked Dean Zabriskie, defense counsel for Rashada. "Did she ever say stop?"
"No," Turner replied. Turner also maintained that a sex act he performed with the girl was not forced but consensual.
"Whatever happened between you and her was voluntary, isn't that right?" Zabriskie asked.
"Right," Turner said.
Testimony from the mother of the girl contrasted starkly with the accounts given by Turner and the other players as she described her daughter's return home that night. She said her daughter was so emotionally distraught when she arrived that she couldn't even talk about the situation.
The mother testified that she first talked with her daughter by phone around 3 a.m. She said the girl was crying hysterically and unable to talk clearly.
"I told her to hang up, put both hands on the wheel and I'd meet her in the driveway," the mother told the jury.
She testified that when she saw the car pull in, she went out and opened the car door. She said her daughter was "as white as a sheet" as she leaned back against the seat gripping the steering wheel.
The mother said the girl kept repeating, "It was all a dream. It never happened," in response to questions about a possible assault.
The mother said when she asked if she should call police, her daughter said, "No. They'll lose their scholarships. It'll affect their future."
The mother testified that she tried to coax more information out of her daughter, but the girl was trembling, repeating the same phrases over and over. The next morning, the mother said she asked the girl if she wanted to talk about it, and her daughter told her "not yet," then went to baby-sit her cousins, as she had previously planned.
The mother said later that afternoon her daughter called and said she was going to visit with detective Devon Jensen at the Provo police station and asked if her parents wanted to come.
Jensen testified that when the girl arrived at the police station she told him she met the men, went to their apartment and was goaded into drinking vodka while the pornographic DVD was playing. She said Bennett took her to the bedroom, where she passed out. She said when she woke up, several men were sexually assaulting her.
Prosecutor David Sturgill asked Jensen to identify several pieces of evidence seized from the apartment with a search warrant, including a desk from the bedroom and a pornographic DVD. Jensen said he also took sheets, fingerprints, a box of condoms and a rag from a bedroom closet.
Jensen testified there was evidence that some cleanup had occurred before the warrant was served on Aug. 10.
"There was an odor of cleaning agents throughout the apartment, like it had been recently sterilized," he said.
Jensen is scheduled to continue his testimony when the trial resumes Wednesday. The prosecution also plans to call three other witnesses.
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