(MISSOULA, Mont.) — University of Montana quarterback Jordan Johnson was charged with rape Tuesday afternoon and suspended from the football team.
According to court documents filed by Assistant Chief Deputy County Attorney Suzy Boylan, Johnson, 20, and an acquaintance were watching a movie together in her room on Feb. 4 when Johnson began kissing her. The victim resisted his advances, repeatedly saying, “no,” but Johnson would not stop and reportedly said, “I will make you.” He then allegedly proceeded to rape her.
Afterward, the documents stated, the woman sent a text message to her roommate that said, “Omg…I think I might have just gotten raped.”
Johnson maintains the sex was consensual, and, “looks forward to the opportunity to prove his innocence at trial, clear his name and return to pursuing his education,” his attorney David Paioli said in a statement.
The charges come amid federal investigations into the Missoula Police Department and University of Montana’s handling of sexual assault cases.
The investigations have been looking into 80 reports of rape occurring in Missoula in the past three years.
The U.S. Department of Education is focusing their investigation on reports of harassment and assault allegations on campus, while the U.S. Department of Justice investigates how the Missoula Police Department and County Attorney’s Office handle reports of sexual assault, believing they failed to investigate some allegations.
While police and university officials have been eager to cooperate with the investigations, Missoula County Attorney Fred Van Valkenberg strongly opposed the investigations when they were launched in May, denying any mishandling of sexual assault reports.
Johnson is the second member of the university’s football team facing a rape charge. In January, running back Beau Donaldson was charged with raping an acquaintance in September 2010 and is currently awaiting trial. He also maintains his innocence.
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