Judge moves Torrey Green’s seventh rape trial back to Logan but denies motion for other victim’s testimony

Torrey Green, center, talks to his lawyers Skye Lazaro, left, and private investigator E. Christian Warmsley during his rape trial, Monday, Jan. 7, 2019 in Brigham City, Utah. Green is accused of raping multiple women while he was a football player at Utah State University. (Eli Lucero/court pool via AP)

LOGAN — A judge has granted Torrey Green’s request, to move the seventh and final rape trial against the former Utah State football player back to Logan.  Judge Brian Cannell granted the motion while also ruling that he would not allow any of Green’s previous victims to testify during the trial.

The rulings came in 1st District Court Wednesday morning.  Green participated in the hearing by teleconference from the Kane County Jail, where he is serving his prison sentence.

The one-week jury trial was set to begin February 6, after defense attorney Mike McGinnis said Greene had a better chance of receiving a fair trial in Cache County than Box Elder County.  He felt that moving the trial back to Logan would likely give them a more diverse and educated jury pool.

Judge Cannell expressed concern about the jury being prejudiced.  He cited the extensive media coverage of the case and the other recent sexual assault cases at USU.

Cache County Chief Deputy Attorney Spencer Walsh said he was okay with Green’s request.  He acknowledged Judge Cannell’s concerns but said the news coverage of the defendant’s case has been statewide.  He predicted that they will likely have to call a larger pool to seat a neutral jury no matter where the case is tried.

Earlier during the hearing, Judge Cannell rejected prosecutor’s request, to reconsider his previous ruling of prohibiting other women raped by Green to testify during the final trial.  The prior ruling was that the evidence of the seventh alleged victim’s case was different enough from the six, and needed to be tried separately.

Walsh argued that the alleged assault was “roughly similar” to two other cases that Green had already been found guilty of.  He explained that all three women were raped at the same location, a downtown Logan apartment.  The defendant also disregarded the three girl’s verbal and non-verbal cues to stop.

McGinnis said the seventh victim’s case was not similar.  He argued that the girl’s account was that the assault happened at a party where alcohol had been consumed.  Those two factors didn’t exist in the prior cases.

Judge Cannell agreed with McGinnis and ruled that the evidence of the seventh case was significantly dissimilar.  He said it would be unfairly prejudicial to introduce other victim’s testimonies into Green’s last case.  He also scheduled a final pre-trial conference, to be held January 7, in preparation for the February trial.

In March, Green was given the maximum prison sentence for raping or sexually assaulting the six other women, after a jury found him guilty in January.  He was ordered to serve between 26-years-to-life behind bars.


will@cvradio.com

 

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