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DeShawn charge reduced; trial’s on

SHARE DeShawn charge reduced; trial’s on

FRESNO, Calif. — The statutory rape charge against Utah Jazz guard DeShawn Stevenson was reduced Thursday from a felony to a misdemeanor after a court hearing in which one alleged victim changed her story.

Fresno County Superior Court Judge Alan Simpson ordered Stevenson and his friend DeShawn Anderson, both 20, to stand trial on the reduced charges after a 15-year-old girl took the stand Thursday and said she never had sex with Anderson.

When asked by Deputy District Attorney Becky Gong if she and Anderson had sex, the girl said they kissed and he touched her, but "not on my bottom part or nothing like that."

"I said (I had sex with him) to get back at him, I guess. To get him into trouble," she said.

It's unclear why she wanted to get Anderson in trouble.

The girl also repeatedly said she didn't remember all of the things that went on that night.

The 14-year-old girl with whom Stevenson allegedly had consensual sex didn't attend the hearing.

She told police in June that Stevenson called her on the night of June 6 and asked if she had any "freak friends," girls "that will do anything sexually," Fresno police officer David Unruh said during the hearing.

The girls originally told police they went with the men to a Howard Johnson's motel in Fresno and got drunk willingly on brandy and Coke.

The girls both told police they had consensual sex with the men. The 14-year-old said it was voluntary but that she probably would not have had sex with him if she hadn't been so drunk.

Stevenson allegedly admitted he had sex with the 14-year-old girl in a telephone conversation recorded by police. The 6-foot-5 Stevenson, who was a rookie last season, allegedly admitted to the girl's mother the two had sex and implicated his friend.

If convicted, both men face up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine. Had they been tried on the more serious felony charges, they could have faced up to three years in state prison.

Both have pleaded innocent. A trial date is set for Oct. 25.

Stevenson played in 40 games for the Jazz, averaging 2.2 points and 0.7 rebounds. He was on the injured list for more than a month with tendinitis in his right knee.