Jury asks for more time to deliberate in former USU football player Torrey Green’s rape trial

(Eli Lucero | Herald Journal via AP) Defense attorney Skye Lazaro puts her arm around Torrey Green as the jury leaves the courtroom for deliberation during Green's rape trial, Thursday, Jan.17, 2019 in Brigham City, Utah. Green is accused of raping multiple women while he was a football player at Utah State University.

Brigham City • A jury spent nearly eight hours on Thursday deliberating whether former Utah State University football player Torrey Green is guilty of sexually assaulting six women. It wasn’t enough. They’ll come back Friday as they attempt to reach a verdict in this high-profile case.

After nearly two weeks of testimony, jurors began considering just after noon whether Green is guilty of 11 felonies in connection with reports from the women who say the athlete sexually abused them between 2013 and 2015 when he was a student in Logan.

Each woman pointed out Green as her attacker during testimony last week. Green then took the stand earlier in the week and told jurors he had consensual sex with four of the women, and did not have sex with two others.

During closing arguments Thursday, Deputy Cache County Attorney Spencer Walsh told jurors that it’s unlikely the women would each have strikingly similar accounts of Green sexually abusing them.

“This isn't some bizarre coincidence,” he argued. “It is impossible for six women who don't know each other to falsely accuse him of the exact same thing.”

Walsh called Green a “wolf in sheep’s clothing,” and leaned on the similarities of the women’s reports to argue that Green was a serial predator. All say they were assaulted during their first time alone with Green, the prosecutor argued, and five say Green forced himself on them while they were in his apartment. Several of the women said Green had taken her into his bedroom to watch a movie before the alleged assault. And several said that Green told her that he was really good and “she would like it,” Walsh said.

“This defendant’s guilt is absolutely overwhelming,” Walsh argued. “It’s not even a close call, whatsoever.”

But defense attorney Skye Lazaro argued to jurors that prosecutors “cherry-picked” certain texts or pieces of evidence that supported a case that was only filed after The Salt Lake Tribune published a story in 2016 that detailed four cases where women had accused Green of sexual assault and little action had been taken.

She noted that prosecutors had already decided once before not to pursue charges in connection with one of the women’s reports — a case that is now being considered by the jury.

“That case wasn’t good enough to even file at the time it happened,” Lazaro argued. “It wasn’t good enough to file [until] The Salt Lake Tribune came out with an article blasting the prosecutors' office and Utah State University.”

Lazaro also noted how long it took several of the alleged victims to report what happened to them — one woman reported more than 400 days after she said she was assaulted, Lazaro said, another more than 1,000 days — and added that several did not report to authorities until after The Tribune published a story.

"We're here because of bowing to media pressure," she argued.

Lazaro told jurors that while they may not morally agree with Green’s decisions to have a lot of casual sex in college, that’s not illegal. She said Green has never sexually assaulted anyone, and asked jurors to find him not guilty.

The jury will consider charges connected to the six women who testified last week, though there is a seventh alleged victim, who reported that she was assaulted during a party at Green’s apartment. She did not testify at this trial. A judge ruled last year that her account was not as similar to the others. Her case will be tried separately.