Jordan Johnson, the University of Montana quarterback who led his team to a share of their conference championship last year, has been accused by prosecutors of raping an acquaintance.
The quarterback was charged of raping a friend after she invited him to her room to watch a movie, the Associated Press reported. Jordan Johnson has denied the allegation, and his attorney David Paoli issued a statement Tuesday that the quarterback and his family were “surprised and saddened” by the delay in the criminal charge. The alleged rape took place in February and police learned about it when the woman filed a report six weeks later.
“Jordan strongly maintains his innocence and looks forward to the opportunity to prove his innocence at trial, clear his name and return to pursuing his education,” Paoli said in the statement.
Jordan Johnson has been suspended from football team activities, which is required by the student athlete conduct code when charges are filed.
“In our profession you have to be prepared to face the unexpected,” Montana head football coach Mick Delaney told the Missoulian. “This being the unexpected, we’ll make an adjustment.”
The Jordan Johnson allegations add to a growing sexual assault scandal at Montana. The Department of Justice and Department of Education are investigating how the school and Missoula city officials responded to reports of sexual assault on campus, the Associated Press noted. An internal investigation conducted by the university earlier this year found nine allegations of sexual assault that went unreported over 18 months, with two more surfacing since then.
Some of those incidents involved athletes, and one was for a teammate of Jordan Johnson. In January, tailback Beau Donaldson was suspended from the team after being charged with raping an acquaintance in September 2010.
After the report came out the university fired football coach Robin Pflugrad and athletic director Jim O’Day, saying a change in leadership was needed, the Associated Press reported.
Court documents said that Jordan Johnson and the female student had known each other since 2010 and began texting regularly in December 2011. She asked him to watch a movie in her room on Feb. 4, and during the movie he kissed her, pulled her on top of him and tried to take off her shirt, court documents said.
When she resisted, Jordan Johnson became aggressive, pulling off her clothes and raping her, police claimed. Afterward the woman sent a text to her roommate that read, “Omg … I think I might have just gotten raped.”
Jordan Johnson said the sex was consensual sex and that he broke off communications with the woman afterward because he liked another woman, the Associated Press reported.