MISSOULA, Mont. - The rape trial for former University of Montana starting quarterback Jordan Johnson is on track to begin next month.
Both prosecutors and Johnson's defense said the February 8th trial date will still work, though they'll likely be filing motions in the case until late in January, if not pushing in to February.
400 potential jurors have already been notified. That large jury pool will be interviewed at the Holiday Inn in downtown Missoula. Missoula County District Court Judge Karen Townsend said there is no room in the courthouse large enough.
The Missoula County Clerk of District Court said an average jury pool is between 100 and 130 people in Missoula County. In the last ten years they've only summoned 400 jurors for one other case. It was a civil trial that lasted about three months.
This time it's not the length of the trial that's a concern, it's the publicity of the case. The court has reserved the space at the Holiday Inn just for February 8th. Judge Townsend's assistant said they anticipate choosing all 12 jurors and some alternates that day.
Johnson was arrested last July for felony sexual intercourse without consent. He's accused of raping a friend in her home last February.