Former University of Minnesota football star Dominic Jones' lawyers will argue next week that the woman he is accused of sexually assaulting gave her consent, according to a detailed new filing in the case.
Jones' trial on criminal sexual-conduct charges is scheduled to start Monday in Hennepin County District Court. In a two-page filing this week, lawyer Earl Gray explained for the first time how he will defend Jones. He declined an interview, but the sexually explicit filing outlined Jones' version of events.
According to the filing, Jones masturbated on the woman but did not have intercourse with her. (The Star Tribune does not identify alleged victims of sexual assault.) Jones "would never have committed the above act unless she had consented," Gray wrote.
Gray filed the papers after District Judge Marilyn Rosenbaum excluded from testimony evidence that the woman had sex with three of Jones' friends earlier in the evening. The filing doesn't change Rosenbaum's ruling, but potentially preserves the issue for an appeal.
Gray contends the earlier sex is relevant in part because former football player Robert McField said the woman had oral sex with another football player.
Jones, who still attends the university but was kicked off the football team, was charged in July with third-degree criminal sexual conduct for having sex with a woman who allegedly was too drunk to consent.
According to the complaint, the 18-year-old woman drank eight shots of vodka and had sex with three Gophers players on April 3, before Jones arrived and assaulted her. Another player recorded the act on his cell phone. The recording was deleted, but prosecutors recovered it. Police also identified Jones through DNA.
"We totally disagree" with Gray's line of defense, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said. "The suggestion that a person in her state of intoxication could consent to the sexual activities that Dominic Jones did is inconceivable."
McField, the state's witness, said after three shots, the woman bared her breasts to him and three other players, E.J. Jones, Keith Massey and Alex Daniels. She also did a lap dance for them, then had sex with E.J. Jones, Massey and Daniels.
Dominic Jones will testify that Alex Daniels called him to Daniels' room at 1:13 a.m. and after Daniels and the woman told him about the previous sexual conduct, she asked Jones to masturbate on her, Gray's filing said. She then lay on the bed in Daniels' room, Jones masturbated and posed for the video, the filing said.
After the video, the woman got up and wiped her face, went back to the couch in the living room and fell asleep.
Jones was not present when she was drinking and had no idea she was drunk, Gray's filing said.
In his police statement, McField claims to have seen Jones have sex with the woman, but he told Gray and an investigator that he did not see Jones have sex with her, the filing said.
"Further evidence that defendant did not have sexual penetration with complainant is that seven used condoms were found in the room. None of them had defendant's DNA," Gray wrote, adding that four had DNA from Massey and E.J. Jones and three had unknown DNA. McField was not tested.
In other filings, Gray outlined that his expert will testify that an increasing number of women and couples enjoy the type of behavior to which Dominic Jones admits. The state is paying about $15,000 to cover the cost of the witness because Jones is eligible for aid.
Rochelle Olson • 612-673-1747