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Bennett pleads guilty, agrees to testify

8/8/2005 - BYU Cougars

PROVO, Utah -- One of four former Brigham Young University
football players accused in the alleged gang rape of an underage
girl has pleaded guilty to reduced charges and agreed to testify
against two other teammates.

Karland Bennett pleaded guilty Monday to dealing harmful
material to a minor and obstructing justice. Two counts of
aggravated sexual assault were dropped.

Prosecutors said Bennett gave them the entire story of what
happened in an off-campus apartment complex last August, and he
passed a lie detector test confirming his story.

They said Bennett did not take part in the alleged assault, but
was involved in showing a pornographic video to the 17-year-old
girl and later helped come up with a story to tell the police.

"He wasn't involved at all in any sexual assault, but
unfortunately, he was involved afterward in how the investigation
went and didn't tell the truth the entire time about what
happened," defense attorney Greg Skordas told KSL-TV.

The girl attended Bennett's court hearing Monday and her parents
released a statement saying, "Several of the defendants have shown
enough integrity to admit their involvement. For that we are
grateful. Others have chosen to continue in denial."

Bennett, Ibrahim Rashada, B.J. Mathis, and William Turner Jr.,
who is 18 now but was 17 at the time, were indicted on charges of
aggravated sexual assault, dealing harmful material to a minor,
furnishing alcohol to a minor and obstructing justice. Turner
provided information to prosecutors in exchange for an agreement
that he would be tried as a minor. The four were expelled from BYU.

Two others, were charged with lesser offenses and were suspended
from the university. Antwaun Harris, 19, entered a plea to a
misdemeanor charge of making false statements to a police officer,
and Billy Skinner pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of
attempted dealing harmful material to a minor.