Emotional Johnson, father testify in rape trial
In a packed courtroom, standing room only, Former University of Montana quarterback Jordan Johnson finished his testimony, and his father took the stand.
Wednesday marked day 10 of the rape trial. Both told the jury just how difficult the last year has been for their family, the year since an acquaintance accused Johnson of raping her in her home.
“Short of losing a child I can't imagine a worse situation, to have this kind of accusation,” Johnson’s father Marty Johnson told the court.
Johnson remembers when his son called to tell him that he'd been accused of rape. It was after Johnson received a letter from the UM Dean of Students about the allegation, about a week after the alleged incident.
It's no secret the Johnson family's felt the impact.
“Jordan's a kid that had never been in trouble, never done anything to hurt anyone so I was shocked beyond belief,” said Marty Johnson.
It was difficult for Jordan Johnson to watch his dad take the stand in his defense. He cried. Johnson told the court he and his dad are close and said this trial has cost the people he loves dearly.
“It’s very hard to deal with, with not just me but my family,” said an emotional Jordan Johnson.
That closeness extended to the football field, Marty coached Jordan at Sheldon High School in Eugene, OR.
But now, Johnson says football doesn't matter.
“Football is just a game. It's not who I am as a person. It doesn’t define me,” Jordan Johnson told the jury.
The Johnson family just wants to get through this.
“I wake up every day feeling suffocated and it's been that way for 13 months now,” said Johnson’s father.
The defense called character witnesses Wednesday as well. Rudy Herr is a football coach and youth pastor in Eugene, OR. He discussed taking Johnson on a mission trip, and coaching him at Sheldon High School.
Cassie David, a former girlfriend of one of Johnson's roommates, Bo Tully, testified as well. As did Tully.
David described Johnson as always nice and respectful. When asked if Johnson could be described as entitled, David said "Entitled is not the word I would ever use."
Defense attorney David Paoli asked Tully to recount the night at Forester's Ball, the night prior to alleged rape.
Tully also discussed the letter Johnson got from the Dean of Students about the alleged rape. He described Johnson as 'visibly shaken.' He said it was clear Johnson believed it was not true.
Holly Anderson, a classmate of the alleged victim and acquaintance of Johnson also testified. She told the court she never witnessed the alleged victim leaving class crying.
The defense will call it's last witness Thursday, court will likely recess early for the day. Friday, both sides will make their closing arguments and they judge will give the jury the final instructions.
You can follow live twitter updates of the trial here.