"Start Believing": The prosecutor says rape by Torrey Green is sending a message to the Utah criminal justice system
Brigham City • You were believed.
This was the message a Utah jury sent to six women late on Friday evening, a public prosecutor in Cache County said when they found the former Utah State University football star, Torrey Green, guilty of sexually abusing her.
Successively, each woman took the stance last week and told the jury with tears that Green forced sexual contact, even if she said no. Green also testified and told the jury that he had sexually assaulted no one, accusing his prosecutors essentially as rejected data.
But on Friday night, after having considered more than 16 hours over two days, the jury returned with guilty verdicts. Green was convicted of eight charges: five cases of rape, a charge of object rape, a charge of forced sexual abuse and a charge of misdemeanor.
"There were convictions for all six of these survivors," Deputy Cache County attorney Spencer Walsh said after the verdicts were read. "We are very happy about it. You were believed. "
Green, who burst into tears when reading the verdict, initially saw eleven crimes related to the six women's reports claiming he sexually abused her from 2013 to 2015 while studying in Logan.
The jury looked tired when led into the courtroom, affirming Green's increased abduction, object rape, and forced sexual abuse charges. They downgraded a charge of criminal compulsion to sexual abuse to a sexual battery offense.
25-year-old Green is now facing the verdict in prison when he was sentenced on March 27. Walsh said they would face each rape charge and the number of sexual batteries because of the number of victims. This means that prosecutors will look for at least 25 years and up to their lives behind bars.
Green's lawyer, Skye Lazaro, avoided the reporters on Friday night by leaving the courthouse through a back door.
None of the victims were in the courthouse when the verdict was read. But Walsh said everyone was informed about the verdict and they were "enthusiastic".
Bringing the attacker to court and being peppered with questions during cross-examination was exhausting and caused anxiety, Walsh said. However, it was a "very big day" to finally file a guilty verdict.
"They were phenomenal," the prosecutor said. "It's incredible women, and it's definitely an honor for our office to bring them justice."
The jury witnessed for almost two weeks before coming to its verdict on Friday.
During the trial, prosecutors relied on similarities in women's testimony to paint Green as a predator. Someone who used his charm to get women on their own before he forced them to sex.
In conclusion, Walsh Green called a "wolf in sheep's clothing" and said it was impossible that so many women who do not know each other blatantly blame Green for similar crimes.
All six women testified that they were attacked by Green alone on their first visit. Five said Green forced them while they were in his apartment. Several women testified that Green had taken her to his bedroom to watch a movie before the alleged robbery, and some said that Green told her that he was really good and that "she would like it."
Green took the witness stand earlier this week and told the jury that he had consensual sex with four of the women and had no sex with two other prosecutors. He said he had regrets about treating the women - he should have made it clearer that he did not want a serious relationship.
"I wish I had not broken their hearts," he said.
Lazaro, the defender of the defense, told the jurors in their closing argument that the prosecutors presented in 2016 a story in which the indictments were supported by certain texts or evidence supporting a case filed after the release of the Salt Lake Tribune were described in detail by four women. At that time, police and university had done little.
"We are here because we bow to media pressure," she argued.
Lazaro told the jury that while they are not morally in agreement with Green's decision to have plenty of casual sex in college, this is not illegal.
The jury considered charges related to the six women, although there was a seventh alleged victim, who reported being attacked during a party in Green's apartment. She did not testify at this trial. One judge decided last year that their account was not so similar to the others, and their case is being heard separately.
Walsh said Friday evening that he hopes the ruling in Green's case will signal the victims that they will be believed to report a sexual assault - even if they do not report to the authorities immediately.
He also said that the case of Green should send word to members of the community, law enforcement agencies and prosecutors that these types of allegations should be better treated.
"I hope this is a learning experience for everyone involved," he said. "We have to do better to take cases of sexual assault very seriously. Start with the faith. And then do a competent, thorough investigation. And when we do that, we will create a better state and a better, safer place to live. "