More than a year after a University of Montana coed told her friends, family and educators that she had been raped by the university's quarterback, Jordan Johnson walked out of a Missoula, Mont., courtroom after being found not guilty of sexual intercourse without consent.
"You just can't convict somebody if you're not 100 percent, or reasonably sure," juror Donna Aucutt told the Missoulian after two-and-a-half hours of deliberations. "It's a sad case all the way around, with so many people affected."
Johnson was expelled from the U of M football team in 2012. University Athletic Director Jim O'Day, who was in the courtroom March 1 for the verdict, told the Missoulian that his department and the university "needs to make a quick decision" about Johnson's athletic fate. The former football start can appeal his expulsion.
Following the Feburary 2012 incident, the U.S. Justice Department and the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights both launched separate investigations into allegations of sexual assault at the University of Montana. The Justice Department cited more than 80 reported rapes in Missoula in three years, including at least 11 student-related cases in recent months.
A Justice Department spokesman said in May 2012 that feds are focusing on complaints that local law enforcement failed to properly investigate and prosecute sexual assaults on women in Missoula because of gender discrimination.
The local economy of Missoula—a city of approximately 86,000—depends heavily on Montana's flagship research institution.