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Logan • Seven separate criminal cases will move forward against former Utah State University football star Torrey Green, who is accused of sexually assaulting seven women while he was a student at the Logan school.
A Utah judge ruled Wednesday that there was probable cause for Green to stand trial on 11 felonies: six counts of rape, three counts of forcible sex abuse and two charges of object rape.
Green, 23, also faces a charge of aggravated kidnapping accused of detaining a woman in his apartment in October 2014 as he sexually abused her but 1st District Judge Brian Cannell did not make a ruling on that count. Instead, he asked attorneys to file written briefs with further legal arguments before he makes a ruling.
Cannell's decision came after lawyers gave closing arguments Wednesday, summarizing three days of preliminary hearing testimony held last month.
During the hearings, Cannell heard testimony from the seven women and other witnesses about the alleged sexual assaults that occurred between November 2013 and November 2015.
Prosecutors on Wednesdays highlighted the similarities between many of the women's stories: Most met Green on the dating app Tinder, the women testified, or on USU's campus. Most had agreed to watch a movie at Green's apartment, where he subsequently raped or sexually assaulted them. And most were assaulted the first time they were alone with Green.
In her closing arguments, defense attorney Skye Lazaro emphasized that many of the women could not recall some details of the assault, and that they did not scream or yell for help. Most did not immediately report to police, she argued, and many did not get a rape kit examination.
Deputy Cache County Attorney Spencer Walsh argued in response that a victim not reporting to police doesn't mean that an assault didn't happen.
"Those are key rape myths," Walsh said, "that must be dispelled in our society."
Lazaro also noted that in one case, prosecutors screened the case and initially declined to file charges. She noted that several of the women publicly aired allegations in a Salt Lake Tribune story published last July just after Green had signed a contract to play football in the NFL.
That Tribune story prompted Cache County prosecutors to re-examine sexual assault allegations lodged against Green in 2015. Since July, prosecutors have investigated at least 15 sexual assault allegations against Green.
After Wednesday's hearing, Lazaro declined to comment to reporters.
Walsh said prosecutors were "very pleased" with the judge's decision.
"We are very grateful to the victims in these cases," Walsh said, "for their courage in reporting to law enforcement and their courage for coming into the courtroom and testifying in these preliminary hearings."
Walsh said that after the judge makes a decision on June 6 about whether Green will stand trial on the aggravated kidnapping count, attorneys will focus on a Doctrine of Chances motion filed by prosecutors. Walsh said the motion, if granted, would allow prosecutors to "present evidence and testimony from all seven alleged victims at each others' trials."
The Doctrine of Chances is a legal rule that allows evidence of other bad acts to be presented at a trial to show it is unlikely that a defendant would be involved innocently in similar situations repeatedly.
Cache County prosecutors say in court papers that they want to present that type of evidence so the jury can question the likelihood that seven different women who don't know one another would falsely accuse Green of rape.
Walsh said he expects that each of the seven cases will be tried separately, and prosecutors won't make an attempt to have them heard at one large trial.
Green is being held in the Cache County jail without the opportunity to post bail.