The trial started Monday in Benton County Circuit Court for a former Corvallis High School football player who is accused of raping a 16-year-old girl following the school’s prom last year.
Marco Brewer’s trial is set to last through Monday, March 12. Brewer, who now is 18, was 17 when prosecutors charged him on July 28 with first-degree rape, first-degree unlawful sexual penetration, first-degree sexual abuse and two counts of second-degree sexual abuse.
In Oregon, a person who is 15 to 17 years old and who is charged with a Measure 11 crime must be tried and sentenced as an adult.
The charges accuse Brewer of engaging in sexual intercourse with a person who was incapable of consent by reason of mental incapacitation or physical helplessness.
On Monday, the attorneys seated a jury of 10 men and two women (with two male alternates). None of the jurors is black. Brewer is African-American.
Judge Matthew Donohue is presiding over the trial.
The attorneys delivered their opening statements Tuesday.
Deputy District Attorney Kristen Farnworth told the jury the alleged incident took place in the early morning hours of May 14. She said Brewer and the alleged victim were friends. She said although the girl went to a different school, she attended Corvallis High School’s prom with a date. Brewer attended the prom with a different date.
Farnworth told the jury that after the prom, the alleged victim went to a party with her date. There, she changed out of her dress into a long T-shirt. She consumed some alcohol at the party and then her friends picked her up and took her to Brewer’s house, the prosecutor said. The alleged victim’s date stayed at the first party.
At Brewer’s house, the girl consumed some more alcohol before deciding to go to bed, Farnworth said. The girl and one of her friends went to sleep in Brewer’s bed. At about 3 a.m., Brewer asked the girls to get out of his bed so he could go to sleep, the prosecutor said. One of the girls moved to a couch, but the alleged victim stayed in the bed, Farnworth said.
The prosecutor said the alleged victim woke when she felt someone’s fingers at her vagina. The alleged victim said she felt her underwear being pulled to the side and a man penetrating her, Farnworth said. The alleged victim said Brewer had his hand on her hip and that she tried to get up but he held her still, the prosecutor said. After a short time, Brewer let go of the girl and she got up and went to the bathroom, Farnworth said.
The alleged victim called her sister, who picked her up from Brewer’s house, the prosecutor said. The alleged victim initially blamed herself for the incident and did not want to report it, fearing it would affect Brewer’s future, Farnworth said.
On the Monday following prom, three girls reported the rape allegation to a counselor at the high school, the prosecutor said. The counselor informed the school resource officer and police began investigating.
Brewer’s defense attorney, Stephen Ensor, told the jury that the alleged victim was awake and participated in the intercourse.
“She didn’t say no. She didn’t scream. She didn’t cry out,” Ensor said.
“You can’t be found guilty of having sex with someone who is physically helpless if they’re awake,” Ensor added.
Ensor said Brewer has accepted a scholarship to play football at UCLA, but that Brewer’s future is uncertain because of the pending charges.
Lillian Schrock covers public safety for the Gazette-Times. She may be reached at 541-758-9548 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at @LillieSchrock.