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PROVO - After leaving a 17-year-old girl alone in his bedroom, former Brigham Young University football player Karland Bennett later returned to find some of his teammates engaged in sexual activity with her, he testified Friday.
One of the teammates, B.J. Mathis, was near her head, while another, Ibrahim Rashada, was behind her. A third teammate was to the girl's side, touching her, Bennett said.
Bennett didn't think anything of it.
"It didn't seem forceful. So it was none of my business," said Bennett, whom prosecutors called to the witness stand Friday, the second day of testimony in the rape trial for Mathis and Rashada.
On Thursday, the alleged victim, who is now 18, testified that she had been raped by the men after they gave her alcohol and she blacked out.
In December, a grand jury indicted Rashada, Mathis, Bennett and William Turner Jr. each on two first-degree felony counts of aggravated sexual assault, one second-degree felony count of obstruction of justice, one third-degree felony count of dealing harmful material to a minor, and a misdemeanor charge of furnishing alcohol to a minor.
Turner is being prosecuted in juvenile court. Bennett earlier this month pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice and dealing harmful material to a minor.
Though a witness for the prosecution, Bennett testified under cross-examination that he didn't see anything that would cause him to intercede.
"There's no way I would let anything forceful go on," Bennett said. "I would have stopped it."
Mathis, Bennett's longtime friend, wouldn't have allowed that to happen, either, Bennett said.
Defense attorneys also pointed to the testimony Bennett gave in a deposition in which he said the girl was about to give him oral sex before the alleged rape took place, but he could not perform. She had been offering it voluntarily and was conscious, Bennett said on Friday.
The defense also pointed to Bennett's statement in the deposition that the girl "started to give me oral sex" in a car after the alleged rape.
The girl's cousin, under cross-examination by the defense on Friday, said that the alleged victim did not go to the apartment to engage in group sex.
"She would never consent to anything like that," the cousin testified.
Former BYU football player Billy Skinner testified that he went to his room to get a pornographic DVD, put it in the player, hooked it up and pushed play.
Under cross-examination, Bennett said that while the porn was on, Rashada asked the alleged victim if she could do various sexual positions, and the girl replied, "We'll see" and "I'll show you what positions."
Skinner testified that people were sitting in the apartment drinking and Bennett asked if she was ready to "get down," or something to that effect. The girl responded that she "hadn't had enough to drink yet," Skinner said. He was charged with lesser crimes in connection with the incident and pleaded guilty to misdemeanors earlier this year.
Skinner said the alcohol belonged to Turner, who was 17 at the time of the alleged crime.
After they drank alcohol, the girl said she wasn't feeling good and lay on the couch, Bennett said. While she was on the couch, Mathis was touching her breasts, Bennett testified.
The former players discussed denying the whole story and wiping the desk down because they didn't want fingerprints on it, Skinner testified. Bennett said the players met in his apartment to make up a story that included no pornographic movie, alcohol or sex.
In one of the more cryptic moments of the trial, prosecutor Donna Kelly asked Bennett whether he "had information" before Aug. 8 that caused him to have concern that Mathis might do something to the alleged victim that night. Bennett replied yes. Kelly, however, apparently was not allowed by the judge to pursue that line of questioning further.
When the trial resumes Monday, the prosecution is expected to call clinical experts: the doctor who performed a rape exam, a toxicologist and a sexual assault nurse practitioner.