Bennett pleads guilty, agrees to testify

Updated: August 8, 2005, 10:46 PM ET
Associated Press

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.


Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press

ALSO SEE