Star Montana Quarterback Takes the Stand, Denies Rape Allegations


The defense described the victim as a spurned woman who was jealous of a relationship Johnson was having with another woman he recently started seeing. They pointed to the alleged victim's conflicting text messages to support their argument. In one text to a friend, the alleged victim wrote, "I don't think he did anything wrong," and in a message to a friend on Facebook, she wrote, "maybe I wanted it."

"When she says, 'I don't think he did anything wrong,' even if you put that into context, even if you explain why she would have said that, that's a real problem for prosecutors in this case," ABC News legal analyst Dan Abrams said.

The defense also argued the alleged victim's long delay in reporting the incident is significant, but psychologists said it is not unusual for victims to wait before coming forward.

"It is common for survivors to delay reporting to police, they may be blaming themselves or have fear of the unknown," said Katherine Hull, a spokeswoman for RAINN, the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network.

Rape is said to be the most common violent crime on American college campuses today. In the overwhelming majority of those cases, the rape is by an acquaintance, not a stranger. According to the National Institute of Justice, as many as 90 percent of college women who are victims of rape or attempted rape say they knew their assailant.

"Every two minutes somebody in the U.S. is sexually assaulted and nearly half of survivors are under the age of 18," Hull said. "Women in their college years are at the highest risk of this crime."

Guilty or not, the allegation has been life-changing for the former starting quarterback, suspending his promising football career. He led the Montana Grizzlies to an 11-3 season as a sophomore and threw 21 touchdown passes in his last season.

"It's very hard to deal with. Not just me but my family. I don't even remember what it's like to be normal," Johnson said in court.

The case is playing out against the backdrop of investigations by the U.S. Department of Justice and the NCAA, and it has made national headlines, with some calling it "trial by Twitter" because bloggers are feverishly tweeting play-by-play updates about every word and movement in the courtroom.

But it's a jury that will decide the case as early as Friday.

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