clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

In rape trial, defense fights portrait of ex-Utah State University football player Torrey Green as predator, manipulator

BRIGHAM CITY — A detective investigating one allegation of rape against a then-Utah State University football player urged the suspect to be confident, failed to ask tough questions and falsely told the linebacker he wasn't investigating a rape.

Logan City police detective Kendall Olsen treated the star athlete "with kid gloves," according to prosecutors. But an attorney for 25-year-old Torrey Green called the friendly approach "a very real tactic" to gain rapport and get Green to talk with police.

"That was my hope," Olsen testified Monday in Brigham City's 1st District Court, the first day Green's defense team called witnesses in a trial on charges he raped five women and sexually assaulted a sixth. His attorneys fought the picture the state painted of him a week earlier — that of a predator who showed a clear pattern of winning women's trust before attacking them at separate points from 2013 to 2015.

In addition to the investigator, jurors heard testimony Monday from a friend of Green's who said she never felt threatened by him despite sharing a bed with him for a weekend, and from another witness who told jurors that one of the alleged victims once described Green's genitals with a laugh. Green's lawyer, Skye Lazaro, has argued that the six women came forward after Green signed a rookie contract with the Atlanta Falcons because they wanted attention.

Olsen, the detective, testified that Green seemed nervous but not hesitant to sit down for a police interview in 2015. Olsen didn't "knowingly or intentionally" hold anything back in the case that prosecutors reviewed in 2015 before initially determining not to file criminal charges against Green, he told jurors. But the officer acknowledged coaching the nervous woman, V.S., to ask Green during a taped phone call if their sexual encounter was a one-night stand. He failed to document that he had thought up the question himself, an oversight that prosecutors say falsely implied the sex was consensual.

"Fair to say that you treated this defendant with kid gloves?" deputy Cache County attorney Spencer Walsh asked. "Maybe unintentionally, but that’s how you treated him in the interview."

Lazaro emphasized that her client did not admit any wrongdoing and asked Olsen if the apparent coziness was deceptive and an investigative tactic.

"I believe so," Olsen responded, saying his method of downplaying the allegation in conversations with Green now "may come across as not giving it full attention it deserves."

Green, of Rubidoux, California, was signed as a rookie lineman for the Atlanta Falcons following his successful time playing for USU, but the team dropped him in 2016 after the allegations came to light. He has been held without bail in the Cache County Jail for more than two years since he was charged.

On Monday, a Boise woman who met Green on the app Tinder testified that she visited Green over Halloween weekend in 2015 and slept in his bed but he never requested sex or made her feel uncomfortable. The two didn't become intimate because they didn't have that type of connection, she said, and they have remained friends during the time he has spent behind bars.

A former co-worker of one alleged victim testified that the woman, A.P., had commented on the size of Green's genitalia once during a slow period in their shift. A.P. told her she had met a football player named Torrey on Tinder, and made mention of his anatomy but did not disclose an assault.

"She kind of giggled about it and said the size was not normal, and kind of laughed about that," the former colleague said. The woman also dated Green for a time, but the two last communicated in 2016 and she couldn't remember if she had been intimate with him at the time of the conversation with A.P., she told jurors.

Green, who graduated from USU in 2016, is charged with six counts of rape, two counts of object rape and one count of aggravated kidnapping, first-degree felonies; and two counts of forcible sexual abuse, a second-degree felony.

A judge combined the six of the cases into one trial last year after prosecutors argued each contains similar allegations and the women were permitted to testify at one another's trials. A trial date for a separate sexual assault allegation Green faces has not yet been set.