Cedric Everson faces up to 25 years
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A former University of Iowa athlete fought back tears Tuesday as she told jurors she was sexually assaulted by two football players during a 2007 attack that left her "devastated, violated."
The woman was the first witness to testify at the second-degree sexual abuse trial of former Iowa football player Cedric Everson, who is fighting a charge that could send him to prison for up to 25 years. Prosecutors allege Everson assaulted the woman while she was passed out after another football player raped her, but Everson's attorney argued the sex was consensual.
The woman told jurors she was drinking rum with her friends in a dorm room and doesn't remember going out to a party at a friend's house on Oct. 13, 2007. She was a freshman at the time who had been heavily recruited for athletics.
She said she vaguely remembers returning to her room at Hillcrest Residence Hall to go to bed but got up after a male friend called and asked to meet her outside. She said she met football players who also lived in the dorm in the courtyard, and ended up in an empty dorm room with football players Abe Satterfield and Jevon Pugh.
The woman said both of them were touching her sexually, and she told them to stop. She said Pugh left, but Satterfield persisted. She said she decided to perform oral sex on Satterfield in the hopes of avoiding intercourse since she was a virgin, but she said he eventually pinned her down and assaulted her against her will.
"I was telling him I didn't want to do it and it hurt so bad," the woman testified, pausing to fight off tears and regain her composure. She said she passed out, woke up hours later and was "naked, just covered in blood."
The woman said she went for treatment at the hospital the next morning and reported the attack to the athletics department. She said she filed a police report weeks later after she was upset the university had allowed her to continue living in the same residence hall as Satterfield. She said she then learned from a police officer investigating the assault that Everson was also accused in the rape after telling others he had sex with her after she was passed out.
Asked her reaction to Everson's involvement by prosecutor Anne Lahey, she said, "I don't think there are words to describe it. Devastated, violated."
In opening statements earlier Tuesday, Lahey said evidence will show that Everson went in the room, tapped Satterfield on the shoulder, told him to get out of bed and then had sex with her while she was passed out. She said DNA recovered from the woman the day after the attack matched Everson's DNA.
Pugh, who was never charged in the case, told jurors Tuesday he was touching the woman with Satterfield in the room but left after she told them to stop. He said Everson told him the following day he and Satterfield "traded places in the middle of the night having sex with her."
Despite boasting to teammates, Everson falsely told Coach Kirk Ferentz he had nothing to do with the assault even after the coach confronted him with statements from others implicating him, Lahey said.
Everson's attorney, Leon Spies, said during his opening statement that his client had consensual sex with the woman and bragged about it like "some young men do." He said his client acted immaturely toward the woman and lied about his involvement to avoid ramifications with the team, but did not commit a crime. He said the woman had been friendly to Everson while seeing him on campus, drank alcohol even though she was not supposed to mix it with a prescription drug she was taking and was "blacked out for much of the night."
"In a toxic combination of alcohol, prescription drugs, bad judgment, immaturity and hormones, the lives of three young people were changed forever." Spies said, referring to Everson, the woman and Satterfield.
Everson and Satterield were suspended from the football team by Ferentz days after the assault, and later transferred. The woman also left Iowa after her freshman year.
Satterfield, who pleaded guilty last year to a misdemeanor assault charge for his role in the case, is expected to testify later during the trial. In exchange, prosecutors agreed to recommend no jail time when he is sentenced on Jan. 21.
Everson was a highly recruited defensive back from Detroit. In court Tuesday, he looked noticeably older than his playing days, wore thick glasses and a black sweater with a dress shirt underneath. He did not appear to show emotion as the woman or his former teammate, Pugh, testified. Spies often put his hand on Everson's back when referring to his client.
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