Suspended USC football player faces trial on rape charges
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) A judge on Monday ordered a suspended University of Southern California football player to stand trial on rape charges after a 19-year-old woman said marijuana and alcohol left her nearly unable to move during the attack following a summertime party in Utah.
She testified that the sexual assault left her scared, helpless and injured, while Utah prosecutors laid out evidence against Osa Masina, 19 at the same hearing.
The Utah native also has been investigated on similar allegations involving the same woman in California, but criminal charges have not been filed in that case. His lawyer, Rebecca Skordas, said Masina told police that the sex was consensual.
The woman said that before the assault, she considered Masina a friend, whom she had known from high school in suburban Salt Lake City. She said she was on a couch in a friend's basement and felt ''scared, like I needed to get out of there as soon as I could.''
She was treated by a sexual-assault nurse shortly after she made her way home, according to charging documents.
The Associated Press generally does not name people who say they are victims of sexual assault.
Masina watched the testimony impassively, sometimes closing his eyes. He declined to testify or comment after the hearing. He is charged with one count of rape and two counts of forcible sodomy.
Skordas said the burden of proof is low for a case to head to trial, and ''the judge doesn't get to decide credibility.'' Masina is expected to enter a plea Friday.
Prosecutors said Masina raped the woman after she drank alcohol and ate part of a marijuana cookie with him at a July 25 party in the city of Cottonwood Heights.
He and his teammate Don Hill also were investigated after the woman said she was sexually assaulted two weeks earlier when she visited Masina in California, court documents say.
She said the pair assaulted her at Hill's off-campus apartment after giving her marijuana, alcohol and the anti-anxiety prescription drug Xanax. Masina took video and sent it to the victim's ex-boyfriend, authorities said.
The woman said she remembered parts of what happened in California but tried to deny them before she reported the Utah assault.
''I just hated the thought that someone I thought was a friend could take advantage of me like that,'' she said.
Masina is appealing a decision to suspend him from USC. Hill also was suspended.