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USC football player accused of rape appears in Utah court


    Judge Paul B. Parker, center, presides over a hearing for suspended University of Southern California football player Osa Masina at the Matheson Courthouse in Salt Lake City today.


    Suspended University of Southern California football player Osa Masina attends a hearing at the Matheson Courthouse in Salt Lake City today.

SALT LAKE CITY >> A suspended University of Southern California football player charged with rape in Utah and facing allegations involving the same woman in California was ordered today not to contact the alleged victim.

Making his first court appearance for the Utah case, Osa Masina did not speak with reporters covering the event and responded only “Yes, sir” to a judge when asked if he understood the charges. Neither he nor his lawyer objected to the no-contact order.

Masina, 19, is accused of assaulting the woman after she passed out following a July party in Utah, according to charging documents. Los Angeles County prosecutors are also reviewing sexual assault allegations after police handed over the investigation, according to district attorney spokeswoman Jane Robison.

Masina’s lawyer, Greg Skordas, said he does not expect California officials to press charges in that case. Cellphone video of the alleged assault detailed in court documents may end up helping his client, he said.

“There are some things, but they’re not what we’ve all been led to believe,” Skordas said, without offering specifics.

Masina is a Utah native who played at Brighton High School in the Cottonwood Heights suburb of Salt Lake City.

Prosecutors said he has known the alleged victim, also 19, for several years and raped her after she drank alcohol and smoked marijuana with him at a July 25 party in Cottonwood Heights. Masina acknowledged having sex with her, prosecutors said in court documents.

Skordas has said that the sex was consensual.

“The difference in accounts of what happened are maybe not as distinct as you might think, but I think the way both individuals perceived this is quite different,” he told reporters after the hearing.

Masina is charged with one count of rape and two counts of forcible sodomy. Masina is free after on $250,000 bail, though Skordas said plans to ask a judge to reduce the amount because posting a 10 percent bond tied up many of the family’s assets.

Masina and teammate Don Hill are also under investigation for an alleged sexual assault July 14 at an off-campus apartment in California that happened after the alleged victim visited Masina for several days, according to court documents.

Masina and Hill are accused of assaulting the woman at Hill’s off-campus apartment after giving her marijuana, alcohol and the anti-anxiety prescription drug Xanax, the court documents said.

Masina took video of the alleged assault and sent it to the victim’s ex-boyfriend, the documents said. Hill has also been suspended from the team.

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