Jones conviction upheld by Court of Appeals

Jones’ attorney is considering appealing to state Supreme Court.

Former University of Minnesota football player Dominic Jones will not be granted a retrial, the Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday. JonesâÄô attorney Earl Gray said he and Jones are still deciding on whether to petition to the Minnesota Supreme Court. Jones was convicted of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct in April 2008. The court sentenced Jones to a year in the workhouse and a five-year suspended prison sentence for performing âÄúdemeaningâÄù and âÄúhumiliatingâÄù sexual acts with the victim, an 18-year-old college first-year student, while she was too drunk to give or withdraw consent. Victim rape shield laws prevented Gray from asking the victim or an officer about events that occurred the night of the incident before Jones arrived, which Gray said included taking eight shots of vodka and having consensual sexual relations with three of JonesâÄô teammates. Gray argued that her testimony should have been allowed to be used as evidence because he claimed the victim made prior false allegations. Before the trial, the victim told police she recalled having sex with three Gophers football players after taking eight shots before Jones arrived, according to the criminal complaint filed in Hennepin County District Court. However, in her testimony in court, the victim said she didnâÄôt remember any of the events after taking the shots. The appellate court stated that âÄúthe state argues persuasively that cases dealing with prior false allegations used to test credibility require a stronger showing of falsity.âÄù Gray also argued that her testimony should have been allowed to be used as evidence. He claimed JonesâÄô sexual acts, which included ejaculating on the victimâÄôs face, were not outlined as sexual contact in Minnesota law and had no legal basis. The incident was captured on a cell phone video, and Gray said the video was shown too many times to the jury. Federal investigators recovered the footage after it was deleted from JonesâÄô friend Alex DanielsâÄô phone. Gray also argued on April 16 that trial judge Marilyn Rosenbaum allowed the victim and a University police officer to give testimony that was âÄúobviously false.âÄù All four players were released from the Gophers football team in summer 2007, although the other players were never charged. Gray also said the testimony of Dr. Stephen Smith , an expert provided by the prosecution, should not have been used as evidence. Smith estimated the victimâÄôs blood alcohol content to be at least 0.30, which he said would have rendered the woman âÄúphysically helpless.âÄù Gray had the chance to provide an expert of his own to argue SmithâÄôs point, but did not, in part to provide an issue to appeal. Assistant Hennepin County Attorney Mike Richardson told judges during the appeal that he found it âÄúextremely irritatingâÄù that Gray would refrain from providing an expert as a strategic move in his clientâÄôs defense.