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Prosecutors call several witnesses as Johnson trial resumes

By Emily Adamson, KECI Reporter, eadamson@keci.com
Published On: Feb 20 2013 01:08:46 PM MST
Updated On: Feb 20 2013 05:27:11 PM MST
JOHNSON TRIAL DAY 6
MISSOULA, Mont. -

After a long weekend, court started almost a half hour late Wednesday in the case accusing former University of Montana quarterback Jordan Johnson of rape.

Judge Karen Townsend apologized to the jury telling them she and the lawyers started a meeting at 8:30 a.m. and didn't wrap up until close to 9:30.

The State jumped right back in to calling witnesses. Getting through two before the morning recess. They called Neil Sauer first. He was roommates with the woman and Stephen Green who previously testified.

Sauer said he was at home in bed the night of the alleged rape in February 2012, and didn't know anything had happened. It wasn't until about three days or so that he asked Green what was going on, after hearing her crying several times.  

Sauer told the court that after Green told him what had happened, he offered his support to the woman telling her he would protect her. Sauer also testified about the woman's behavior and how he says she changed after the alleged rape. He said her social life had 'basically disappeared.'

Prosecutors called Kelsie Hanson next. Hanson and the alleged victim are classmates and volunteered together. Hanson told the court she knew the woman and Johnson had gone on a few dates before the alleged rape.

Hanson told the court the woman's personality different after the alleged rape. She said she and the woman haven't talked a lot about the incident over the last year, but that she can tell the alleged victim is sad.

Next on the state's list Wednesday morning was Lillian Kendall, a UM student and former roommate of the alleged victim. Kelsey McCall also lived the with the two women and testified after Kendall.

Both Kendall and McCall recounted their living situation with the woman. The three lived together in a dorm on campus in 2011 and were friends.

Kendall and McCall both told the court about the lunch they had with the woman when she told them about the alleged rape, about a month after it was said to have occurred. They met on campus and had  'normal' lunch conversations. During the last five to ten minutes of the lunch the two say the woman wrote on a piece of newspaper 'I was raped by Jordan Johnson' and slid it across the table to them.

Both Kendall and McCall said they were shocked to see that written down and immediately asked the woman if she was okay, but didn't ask for details about the alleged incident.

McCall told the court she and the woman remain friends because McCall reaches out to her so they can interact frequently.

"Almost every conversation has to do with this case," McCall said when asked about her current relationship with the woman.

Then shortly before the lunch recess the state called Lori Morin, a professor and Assistant Dean for Student Affairs for the School of Pharmacy.  Morin told the court she is the 'go-to person' in her department, and many students have come to her for support over the years.

Morin also recounted when the woman told her about the alleged rape. She also tearfully told the jury about when the woman came to her after seeing Johnson on campus for the first time after the alleged rape. Morin told the court the woman wouldn't let go of her and cried.

Morin said she can't even think of the event without crying. "And my family will tell you I'm not a crier." she said.

Before the day wrapped up Prosecutor Joel Thompson called a counselor and Interim Director of UM's Student  Assault Resource Center. Drew Colling told the court about her interactions with the alleged victim through counseling sessions and how she says her life changed.

Colling said the woman told her things like 'I'm never going to get married or have kids' Which Colling said was "very different from how she viewed herself before and so she kind of changed life goals and had this for shortened sense of her future."

Prosecution will continue with witnesses Thursday. The defense is expected to begin presenting it's case by the end of the week.

NBC Montana will keep you updated.

You can follow live coverage of the trial here.