Rape trial of former U football player delayed

  • Article by: ROCHELLE OLSON , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 3, 2007 - 9:10 PM

A judge agrees to hold Dominic Jones' trial in March to give his attorney more time to prepare.

The sex-assault trial for former star University of Minnesota football player Dominic Jones was delayed Wednesday until March 31 to give his attorney more time to prepare Jones' defense.

Over the objections of the prosecutor, Hennepin County District Court Judge Marilyn Rosenbaum granted attorney Earl Gray's request to delay the trial scheduled for mid-November.

Assistant Hennepin County Attorney Martha Holton Dimick wanted to go ahead, saying that Gray had plenty of time to get ready and that she had adjusted her schedule for the November trial date.

Gray argued that he needs more time to read the "voluminous" investigative material and interview witnesses, including former Gophers football player Robert McField, who is in prison in Missouri.

Gray also said he needed to investigate the possibility that fellow player Keith Massey might have a video on his cell phone that could exonerate Jones.

Holton Dimick called the written reports in the case "weekend reading," and said no second video exists.

After the session, when asked about the possible Massey recording , Gray said the prosecution's report indicates another tape might exist.

Gray has the video from another player's cell phone that prosecutors plan to use against Jones.

The hearing was the first court session Jones attended. He wore a gray suit and sat next to his attorney. He entered and left the courthouse without public comment.

Jones was charged in July with third-degree criminal sexual conduct for having sex with a woman who allegedly was too drunk to give consent. According to the complaint, the 18-year-old woman and a female friend went to McField's room at University Village on April 3, where she drank eight shots of vodka. Sometime later, football players Alex Daniels, E.J. Jones and Massey "took turns having sex" with her, the complaint said. According to the complaint, Dominic Jones arrived later and had sex with the woman, and Daniels recorded the act on his cell phone. Police also identified Jones through DNA.

Daniels, Massey and E.J. Jones haven't been charged. All were kicked off the Gophers football team. McField was given immunity in exchange for his testimony. In March, he pleaded guilty in Missouri to two felony armed robberies, and a judge allowed him to return to Minnesota to finish his academic term before reporting to prison.

Rochelle Olson • 612-673-1747

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