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Ex-Provo athlete to face charges as adult in rape case

Editor’s note: After years of court battles, the case against a 17-year-old Mountain View High student convicted of attempting to rape a 15-year-old classmate in 1997 was expunged in court and police records.

A former Mountain View High School basketball player accused of raping and sodomizing a 15-year-old fellow student will stand trial as an adult.

And in the wake of the allegations — the second assault reported to authorities this school year involving a Mountain View athlete — a rape-crisis team has been brought in to talk to students.

The man, now 18, faces one count of aggravated sexual assault, a first-degree felony, and one count of forcible sodomy, a first-degree felony. He was bound over to adult court from juvenile court this week.

After a hearing in juvenile court Monday, Judge Sterling B. Sainsbury found "probable cause" to believe he committed the crimes and ordered him to appear in 4th District Court on March 6, according to court records.

The man is scheduled for a preliminary hearing before Judge Ray M. Harding Sr. on that date.

Although much of the information about the case has been sealed, other records show charges were filed against him on Nov. 25. Both counts stem from a Nov. 9 incident.

Prosecutors say the student injured an unnamed victim during a rape and that he engaged in another sexual act without the victim's consent.

The man, who no longer attends Mountain View, is free on his own recognizance. His attorney, Mike Esplin, was unavailable for comment Wednesday and Thursday.

The victim's mother told the Deseret News the girl was at a friend's house watching videos when the classmate asked her if she would accompany him to get something to eat.

Instead of heading to a restaurant, the girl claims, he drove to the parking lot of a nearby church, sexually assaulted her and took her back to the video party. She told a friend later that night about the incident and was taken to Orem Community Medical Center.

She also talked with a rape-trauma team. Police were then called.

"Not a day goes by that I don't think about it," the girl told the Deseret News. "It's like my life is on hold until it's all over."

It has been difficult for the now 16-year-old to attend school. She said new rumors fly through the school daily.

"There's a prevailing attitude at the school that girls cry rape falsely. But why in the world would my daughter go through this if it didn't happen?" she said, adding that school administrators have made an effort to make sure her daughter is OK both in and out of the classroom.

She is pleased felony charges have been filed.

"I'm very pleased," the mother said. "That's what he did. That's what he did."

A November incident involving a former Mountain View football player grabbed headlines when school and government officials and media outlets received a letter from an outraged mother of a 17-year-old girl who said her daughter was sexually assaulted.

The mother felt authorities brushed off her daughter's allegations.

Matthew F. Stroshine was arraigned on two felony sexual abuse charges in 4th District Juvenile Court. He told the court at a Nov. 18 arraignment that the charges were false.

Accounts of the August incident differ substantially.

The girl told police she was pushed into a dark room and assaulted during a video party at a friend's house. Police investigated the incident as a sexual assault, not a rape, because one account had the couple in a bedroom kissing before the alleged attack.

Stroshine will appear in court next Tuesday on the charges.

A rape crisis team went to all English classes at Mountain View High school two weeks ago and discussed what constitutes rape and what options are available for those who need help.