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BYU players charged with aggravated sexual assault

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  • BYU players charged with aggravated sexual assault

    Dec. 3, 2004
    SportsLine.com wire reports

    SALT LAKE CITY -- Four Brigham Young University football players were indicted Friday on charges of raping a 17-year-old girl at a party last summer.

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    Two other players were suspended from the team -- one for lying to police and the other for dealing harmful material to a minor.

    The girl told police she and a cousin met the football players at a Provo mall and then rejoined them at an off-campus apartment, where they had drinks and watched a pornographic movie. She told police she passed out on a bed and awoke as the alleged assaults began.

    Utah County prosecutors identified the four charged with aggravated sexual assault as William Terrell Smitty Turner Jr., Karland Brushay Bennett, Ibrahim Amir Rashada and Bryson Anthony Jerrell "B.J." Mathis.

    They already had been expelled from the school, owned and run by the Mormon church, for violating its honor code.

    Antwaun Harris was charged with providing false statements to police, and Billy Skinner was charged with dealing harmful material to a minor. Both were suspended from the team until the charges against them are resolved.

    Utah County Attorney Kay Bryson said the four players were indicted by a grand jury to spare the girl from having to testify at a preliminary hearing, where a judge tests charges filed by prosecutors. Indictments would go straight to a trial judge.

    It was unclear whether any of the six had lawyers.

    AP NEWS
    The Associated Press News Service

    Copyright 2004, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved

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  • DJRamFan
    BYU says player accused of lying in rape case to transfer
    by DJRamFan
    Jan. 27, 2005
    SportsLine.com wire reports

    PROVO, Utah -- Wide receiver Antwaun Harris, accused of lying to police investigating rape allegations against other Brigham Young football players, will transfer from BYU, the school announced.

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    The Garland, Texas, native had 17 receptions for 149 yards last season.

    He and defensive back Billy Skinner, 19, were suspended last month after lesser charges were lodged against them related to the rape investigation. Four other players were accused of rape and were suspended by BYU for one year.

    The charge against Harris of providing false information to police is a second-degree felony.

    "In response to the new direction this program is taking, with an increase in both accountability and discipline," Antwuan has decided to pursue his football career at another university," coach Bronco Mendenhall said Wednesday. "He has my full support."

    BYU said Harris is expected to transfer to a Division I-A program, while Skinner plans to play at Sam Houston State University, a I-AA school in Huntsville, Texas.

    Skinner, 19, is charged with third-degree felony dealing in harmful material to a minor but will plead no contest on Feb. 18 to a misdemeanor charge, attorneys said Tuesday. The action clears the way for him possibly to be called to testify in the trial of his ex-teammates, but Deputy Utah County Attorney Donna Kelly declined to say whether she planned to do so.

    Prosecutors contend that in August, four players gave vodka to a 17-year-old girl at an off-campus Provo apartment. They showed the girl a pornographic movie, then raped her after she passed out, the prosecutors allege.

    Karland Bennett, 19, Ibrahim Rashada, 18, B.J. Mathis, 18, and William Turner Jr., who is 18 now but was 17 at the time, were indicted on charges of aggravated sexual assault, dealing harmful material to a minor, furnishing alcohol to a minor and obstructing justice. Turner provided information to prosecutors in exchange for an agreement that he would be tried as a minor.

    AP NEWS
    The Associated Press News Service

    Copyright 2004-2005, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved
    -01-27-2005, 01:28 PM
  • DJRamFan
    Ex-BYU player pleads guilty, to testify about alleged gang rape
    by DJRamFan
    Aug. 9, 2005
    CBS SportsLine.com wire reports




    PROVO, Utah -- One of four former Brigham Young football players accused in the alleged gang rape of an underage girl has pleaded guilty to reduced charges and agreed to testify against two other teammates.

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    Karland Bennett pleaded guilty Monday to dealing harmful material to a minor and obstructing justice. Two counts of aggravated sexual assault were dropped.

    Prosecutors said Bennett gave them the entire story of what happened in an off-campus apartment complex last August, and he passed a lie detector test confirming his story.

    They said Bennett did not take part in the alleged assault, but was involved in showing a pornographic video to the 17-year-old girl and later helped come up with a story to tell the police.

    "He wasn't involved at all in any sexual assault, but unfortunately, he was involved afterward in how the investigation went and didn't tell the truth the entire time about what happened," defense attorney Greg Skordas told KSL-TV.

    The girl attended Bennett's court hearing Monday and her parents released a statement saying, "Several of the defendants have shown enough integrity to admit their involvement. For that we are grateful. Others have chosen to continue in denial."

    Bennett, Ibrahim Rashada, B.J. Mathis, and William Turner Jr., who is 18 now but was 17 at the time, were indicted on charges of aggravated sexual assault, dealing harmful material to a minor, furnishing alcohol to a minor and obstructing justice. Turner provided information to prosecutors in exchange for an agreement that he would be tried as a minor. The four were expelled from BYU.

    Two others were charged with lesser offenses and were suspended from the university. Antwaun Harris, 19, entered a plea to a misdemeanor charge of making false statements to a police officer, and Billy Skinner pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of attempted dealing harmful material to a minor.

    AP NEWS
    The Associated Press News Service

    Copyright 2004-2005, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved
    -08-09-2005, 12:11 PM
  • DJRamFan
    Texas suspends reserve RB after drug arrest
    by DJRamFan
    Dec. 21, 2004
    SportsLine.com wire reports

    AUSTIN -- Texas reserve running back Erik Hardeman, who had not played this season because of academic problems, has been suspended indefinitely from the team after a felony arrest on a drug charge.

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    Police say they found about 20 grams of cocaine in a car Hardeman was riding in last week.

    According to Austin police, Hardeman was charged with felony possession of a controlled substance on Dec. 14 and a misdemeanor marijuana possession charge after the car was pulled over on a traffic stop.

    The second degree felony charge carries a penalty of two to 20 years in prison.

    Through a spokesman, coach Mack Brown said Hardeman was suspended indefinitely "pending the outcome of the legal process." Hardeman had not been scheduled to travel with the No. 6 Longhorns for their Rose Bowl matchup with No. 13 Michigan on Jan. 1.

    The arrest affidavit on the felony charge was not immediately available at the Travis County clerk's office. But according to the arrest affidavit filed on the misdemeanor, police smelled marijuana in the car and found less than an ounce on Hardeman. They also said they found "several baggies" full of white powder on the floorboard of the rear passenger seat where Hardeman was riding.

    Police said tests showed the powder was cocaine.

    Police also said Hardeman, 19, was carrying $3,774 in cash. He was arrested and released after posting bail of $15,000 on the felony charge and $500 on the misdemeanor.

    Court records on the misdemeanor charge showed Hardeman requested a court-appointed attorney but one had not been provided by Monday afternoon.

    Two other men in the car, passenger Christopher Felkner and driver David Manuel Childress, also were arrested and have since been released from jail.

    Hardeman is a redshirt freshman from Pflugerville who signed with Texas in 2003. He was allowed to practice this season but was not academically eligible to play. Hardeman had not worked out with the Longhorns for several weeks, said team spokesman John Bianco.

    AP NEWS
    The Associated Press News Service

    Copyright 2004, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved
    -12-21-2004, 10:21 AM
  • DJRamFan
    Barnett to go before grand jury probing Colorado scandal
    by DJRamFan
    July 30, 2004
    SportsLine.com wire reports

    DENVER -- Colorado football coach Gary Barnett was called Friday to appear before a grand jury investigating his program's recruiting practices.

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    Barnett did not immediately go before the panel. He wouldn't comment to reporters.

    He was suspended in February for comments he made about two women who accused football players of rape, then was reinstated in May after an investigative panel concluded he shouldn't be fired.

    The grand jury investigation is the first indication criminal charges could be filed in a scandal that led to sweeping changes in the football recruiting program and a scathing review of university leadership.

    At the governor's request, Attorney General Ken Salazar's office has been investigating. Salazar already decided against filing assault charges on allegations involving nine women dating to 1997, citing concerns about the evidence and the reluctance of the women to go forward with the cases.

    The grand jury has heard from players, director of football operations David Hansburg, campus police and others since May. Legal experts have said they think investigators are trying to figure out whether university funds were misused, among other things.

    Salazar's office has declined to comment.


    AP NEWS
    The Associated Press News Service

    Copyright 2004, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved
    -08-02-2004, 03:23 PM
  • DJRamFan
    Ex-Nevada RB gets probation for assault, attempted robbery
    by DJRamFan
    Jan. 26, 2005
    SportsLine.com wire reports

    RENO, Nev. -- A former running back for the Nevada football team was sentenced to five years' probation Tuesday in connection with an incident that occurred in September 2003.

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    Joseph Bwire, 20, who also played at Reno's McQueen High School, pleaded guilty in Washoe County District Court in October to assault with a deadly weapon and attempted burglary.

    He allegedly fired a single shot from a handgun as he tried to flee after a residential burglary.

    The assault charge carries a penalty of up to six years in state prison and up to $5,000 fine. The attempted burglary charge could lead to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

    Both the district attorney's office and the Division of Parole and Probation both urged prison time for Bwire.

    Washoe District Judge Steven R. Kosatch sentenced him to 1-4 years on each count, then suspended the prison term and placed him on probation.

    AP NEWS
    The Associated Press News Service

    Copyright 2004-2005, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved
    -01-27-2005, 01:32 PM
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