University of Montana Quarterback Charged With Rape
University of Montana quarterback Jordan Johnson has been charged on Tuesday with raping a fellow student in February. Missoula County Assistant Chief Deputy Attorney Suzy Boylan filed documents in state court asking a judge to determine whether there is probable cause to proceed with a charge of sexual intercourse without consent against Johnson. The felony charge carries a potential sentence of two years to life in prison and a $50,000 fine.
Johnson has previously denied the allegation. Attorney David Paoli released a statement Tuesday saying that Johnson and his family ‘are surprised and saddened’ by the timing of the criminal charge, since the encounter took place in February and police have been aware of the allegation since the woman, another student, filed a report six weeks later.
If the judge assigned to the case accepts Boylan’s affidavit and application to file the charge, a warrant or summons will be issued for Johnson’s arrest or appearance. Boylan said Johnson’s attorney has assured prosecutors that the quarterback will appear voluntarily when summoned.
Johnson has been suspended from the Grizzlies football team in accordance with the student code of conduct, said UM President Royce Engstrom. That suspension continues until the outcome of legal proceedings. This is the latest turn in a sexual assault scandal at the university that has prompted three investigations by federal governmental agencies and the NCAA. The Department of Justice and Department of Education are investigating how the university and city officials responded to reports of sexual assault on campus and in Missoula.
A university investigation earlier this year found nine allegations of sexual assault that had gone unreported over 18 months, and two others have been surfaced since then.