Nearly a year after the alleged rape, the third-degree criminal sexual conduct trial of former Gophers football player Dominic Jones begins today.
Jones faces a maximum of 15 years in prison.
Since he has no prior record, Jones’ actual prison term, if convicted, would likely be 41 to 58 months, which is the suggested range for third-degree criminal sexual conduct against “physically helpless” victims, according to Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines.
However, the state has sought a harsher sentence for Jones, arguing he “committed multiple forms of penetration,” according to court files signed by the prosecuting attorneys in the case, Martha Holton Dimick and Marlene Senechal.
“The defendant’s behavior was particularly demeaning and humiliating, and the victim was treated with particular cruelty,” the motion reads.
The state will have the opportunity to present its evidence to a jury.
The charges stem from an incident in April 2007 where Jones allegedly had sex with an “unresponsive victim” and ejaculated on her face, according to the criminal complaint.
In response to these charges, Jones’ lawyer, Earl Gray, has called Dr. Marty Klein to testify for the defense. Klein is an expert in the field of “sexual variation and ejaculation,” according to court documents.
Klein will testify that while some consider ejaculating on someone’s face to be an act of hostility or aggression, “many see it as a moment of intimacy, male or female sexual competence or the giving of a gift,” according to the testimony summary.
To his end, Gray argues in court documents that he’s unable to cross-examine the alleged victim regarding her sexual conduct. Klein, Gray states in court documents, will “mitigate the substantial prejudice of the video” and establish reasonable doubt in Jones’ defense.
The video, which Hennepin County Judge Marilyn Rosenbaum recently permitted as evidence, led to Jones’ arrest and subsequent charges.
Gray, however, will argue that the conduct was consensual and that Jones didn’t know the alleged victim was “asleep, helpless or drunk,” according to court documents.
The victim allegedly drank eight shots of vodka at a University Village apartment before three other former Gophers players, Alex Daniels, Keith Massey and E.J. Jones, “took turns” having sex with her, according to the criminal complaint.
Daniels, Massey and Jones were all arrested initially in connection with the incident.
Despite Gray’s attempt to include these details in the trial, the court ruled the previous sexual conduct that night is inadmissible, according to court documents.
However, Daniels, Massey and Jones are all listed as potential witnesses for the state, along with another former Gophers football player, Robert McField, who shared the apartment with the other three players.
McField is currently serving a 12-year prison sentence stemming from two counts of second-degree robbery and one of armed robbery. He pleaded guilty on all three counts.
The alleged victim, whose identity is protected by a rape shield law, is also listed as a potential witness for the state.
-Justin Horwath, special to the Daily, contributed to this report.
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