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Ex-USU linebacker seeks to consolidate, change venue for sex assault trials

Former Utah State University linebacker Torrey Green appears in 1st District Court in Logan on Wednesday, March 29, 2017, the first day of a three-day preliminary hearing.
Former Utah State University linebacker Torrey Green appears in 1st District Court in Logan on Wednesday, March 29, 2017, the first day of a three-day preliminary hearing.
Samuel Brown, Utah Statesman

SALT LAKE CITY — A former Utah State University linebacker accused of sexually assaulting seven women is seeking to move the case out of Cache County and merge six of his trials into one.

Attorneys for Torrey Green, 24, argued in a motion filed Tuesday to move the high-profile case out of the community where Green made a name for himself playing college football in order to ensure he can receive a fair trial. The assaults allegedly occurred between 2013 and 2015 while Green was at the Logan university.

The motion argues that, considering the "current climate around women being sexually assaulted," the women in the case will likely be relatable and sympathetic figures in the eyes of Logan residents, but Green will not.

"The alleged victims are seven different Caucasian females. Little elaboration is needed to understand that seven different female victims, allegedly the victim of rape and sexual assault by an African-American college football player, would likely hold benevolent standing in the community," the motion states.

Additionally, the motion argues that the heinous allegations in the case coupled with the high amount of publicity surrounding the case suggests the trial should be moved out of the county, where the population is small and college football is popular. Reaction to the case, as seen online and on social media, has been overwhelmingly negative toward Green, the motion notes.

"There is no doubt that because of the pretrial publicity there is at least a reasonably likelihood that jurors will be prejudiced or biased against Mr. Green if this motion is not granted," the motion states.

A second motion filed Tuesday also asks that six of the seven cases against Green be merged for a single trial due to the similar allegations in each, especially considering the fact that a judge ruled last fall that the alleged victims in those cases will be allowed to testify in each others' trials.

The motion points to the decision that 1st District Judge Brian Cannell handed down last fall, which outlined the similarities in the case.

Four of the women testified they met Green on the dating app Tinder, the judge wrote. Six of them claim to have been sexually assaulted the first time they were alone with Green. Five said Green put on a movie beforehand, and as the sexual assault occurred, he insisted the women would enjoy it. All insisted they had resisted Green both physically and verbally.

In the case that was not included, the woman testified she had met Green twice previously when she ran into him at a party and he sexually assaulted her in his bedroom. However, that woman also maintained she resisted Green both physically and out loud, and that he told her she would enjoy sex with him, the judge said.

Prosecutors are expected to file responses to motions, which will be argued in a hearing March 29.

Trial dates had been scheduled for next month in one of the cases Green's attorneys are seeking to merge. The trial has now been stricken as the motions are argued.

In total, Green is charged with six counts of rape, a first-degree felony; aggravated kidnapping, a first-degree felony; two counts of object rape, a first-degree felony; and two counts of forcible sexual abuse, a second-degree felony.

Green, who is from Rubidoux, California, graduated from USU in early 2016 and was signed as a rookie linebacker for the Atlanta Falcons. He was dropped by the team after the sexual assault allegations began to surface.

Green is being held without bail in the Cache County Jail.