Former Gophers football player Robert McField testified in court Friday morning that he witnessed former Gophers football player Dominic Jones having sex with the alleged victim in Jones’ third-degree criminal sexual conduct trial.
McField was the state’s first key witness in the case, and he provided authorities with much of the information included in the criminal complaint against Jones.
Although he testified he didn’t actually see vaginal intercourse, McField described what led him to believe the two were engaged in sex. To convict Jones, the state must prove penetration occurred.
“He was on top of her, between her legs,” McField said in court. “In a thrusting motion, on top of (the woman), with her legs open.”
McField was seen in a cell phone video, time stamped at 2:50 a.m., that showed Jones performing a sex act on the woman, but McField said he ducked into the closet to try to avoid being in the video.
In other testimony given Friday, the woman’s friend, Laquisha Malone, 19, of St. Paul, said she was with McField in his room before he was seen in the video.
Malone said McField told her he was going to get a condom from former Gophers football player Alex Daniels’ room, but it took him an unusual amount of time to do so.
After McField returned, Malone said she checked on the alleged victim around 3 a.m. and found her in the same place on the couch where she’d been placed earlier.
Malone also testified that preceding the alleged incident, the woman was slurring her speech and struggling to walk.
“I have never seen anyone that drunk before,” Malone said.
The state will call Dr. Stephen Smith, the state’s drug and alcohol expert in the case, early to mid-week.
Smith previously testified in the criminal complaint that the alleged victim had an estimated BAC level of .30 percent and would have been in a “stupor” or experienced “impaired consciousness” at the time of the alleged incident.
During opening statements, assistant Hennepin County attorney Marlene Senechal said Smith will testify that the woman “was unable to give or withdraw consent for sexual penetration.”
Jones’ attorney Earl Gray is expected to question the validity of Smith’s findings, as he will argue the blood alcohol content level for the alleged victim was found through estimates, not tests.
Both McField and Malone testified that the night’s events had been prompted by their decision to meet up that night.
Malone’s testimony took place mid-afternoon in a third-floor courtroom to accommodate her fear of heights.
Before questioning McField, Hennepin County Judge Marilyn Rosenbaum made a ruling to limit both sides’ questioning regarding McField’s criminal history.
He’s currently serving a 12-year sentence in St. Louis for two counts of armed robbery.
Despite Rosenbaum’s earlier ruling, Gray persistently alluded to McField’s convictions and the timing of his trial with regard to the night of the alleged rape.
In his opening statements, Gray said at the time of the investigation, McField had already been convicted and was awaiting sentencing, adding that McField’s statements to the police might have been made in an attempt to benefit himself.
McField testified that he lied to police investigators in an April 2007 interview when he stated that he saw the alleged victim grasping Jones and thrusting back during the alleged incident.
“I wanted to look out for (Jones),” McField said. “But it really didn’t happen.”
Gray’s cross-examination was frequently interrupted by assistant Hennepin Country attorney Martha Holton-Dimick, as she and Rosenbaum challenged Gray’s questioning.
Rosenbaum’s deputy also chastised McField’s mother and her guest for blowing kisses and waving at McField before his questioning.
McField appeared to be at ease before and during his testimony, smiling and waving back to his family.
The state will call the alleged victim to the witness stand Monday, and Jones is expected to testify by the end of the week.
-Emma Carew and Jake Grovum are senior staff reporters.