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Judge denies request for text messages in Johnson case

By Emily Adamson, KECI Reporter, eadamson@keci.com
Published On: Nov 27 2012 11:04:21 AM MST
JORDAN JOHNSON COURTROOM 8-7-12
MISSOULA, Mont. -

A Missoula County District Court judge has denied a request from attorneys to provide text messages in a rape case involving a former University of Montana quarterback.

In September, Jordan Johnson’s attorneys asked for thousands of text messages between the alleged victim and her friends. Those texts were turned over to investigators, after Johnson was accused of raping a friend in her home in February.

Johnson’s attorneys Kirsten Pabst and David Paoli said they deserved to read all of the messages for their own evidence, after learning prosecutors redacted some the messages for privacy reasons.  Pabst and Paoli claim texts t traded between the alleged victim and a friend made it obvious Johnson isn’t guilty.

The attorneys asked for some 29,000 texts sent and received by the victim between April 2011 and May 2012. They asked that prosecutors provide the messages in their entirety, in chronological order and with identifying information about who the victim was texting.

The court reviewed all of the text messages and the arguments. Judge Karen Townsend decided she won’t require prosecutors to provide Johnson’s attorneys with a copy of the texts in chronological order and that the redactions made by prosecutors will stand.

The state will be required to provide Pabst and Paoli with a list of names, telephone numbers and any other identifying information within two weeks of the order, filed November 21st.

A trial for Johnson has already been scheduled for February.