POSTED: Tuesday, March 19, 2013 - 5:00pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, March 19, 2013 - 5:24pm
Gonzales, LA (NBC33) — The sexual assault trial against former LSU running back Charles Scott began with emotional testimony from his accuser.
Scott was one of the best running backs in LSU history, ending his career seventh all-time in yards and fourth in touchdowns. But now, he is a rape suspect, charged with one count of sexual battery.
He met the alleged victim on November, 12, 2011, after the Tigers beat Western Kentucky. They first met at Bogie's Bar late at night through a mutual friend. They allegedly went back to a third party's house. The woman and the mutual friend had consensual sex. The man left the room to use the bathroom, and while he was gone, the woman claims Scott came in, claimed to be the other man, and had sex with her against her will.
"When you look at this case, obviously, these are very serious charges that have been leveled against my client," said Scott's attorney, Andre Gauthier.
The alleged victim, who was 18 at the time, took the stand as soon as the opening statements were finished. She said she was drunk at the time of the alleged rape, because Scott poured her roughly four drinks at the bar that evening, but quickly realized it was Scott and told him to stop. She said he refused for a few minutes before finally relenting, grabbing her, and throwing her out of the house.
She called her mother to pick her up, called the police, and went to the hospital in the morning of November 13, 2011.
The defense questioned statements she gave to hospital workers and an Ascension Parish Sheriff's investigator to prove that her story was inaccurate. Some of the questions about her memory made her angry; others forcing her to repeat graphic details of the incident made her embarrassed and uncomfortable.
The defense tried to prove that she was too drunk to understand what was happening, and that Scott did not commit the crime. Gauthier said the scientific evidence would prove that Scott never had sex with her.
"We're not coming in to defend this case based on some kind of slick technicality," he stated. "What we're doing is, we're addressing the facts, and we intend to address the facts. And at the end of this case, we feel confident that my client's going to be found innocent of the charges."
Scott's defense team asked to have the judge rule on the case rather than a jury. They said they did not think he would get a fair trial, both because he is a celebrity, and because he still appear to be in playing shape, when he was listed at 5' 11", 240 pounds.
"People come to so many conclusions about professional athletes," Gauthier explained. "You know, they see the headlines, and you read the headline, and people automatically conclude that he's guilty."
Scott spent parts of two years in the NFL, never appearing in a game. If convicted, he could spend up to ten years in prison.
The alleged victim has also filed a civil suit against Scott, the owner of the house, and Bogie's Bar. But she said Tuesday she did not know he was a pro athlete that night, nor did she know his financial status.
The trial will resume Wednesday morning.