Witness says Mid forced sex 3 times

Morrison trial day focuses on alleged hotel assaults

April 06, 2007|By Bradley Olson | Bradley Olson,sun reporter

WASHINGTON -- One of the two women who have accused a former Navy football player of sexual misconduct - the second case of its kind in a year at the Naval Academy - testified at his military trial yesterday that he forced her to have sex with him three times.

"I had my hands between my legs to shield him," said the woman, a senior at the academy who remained composed during the hour she was on the stand at the Navy Yard. "I was still saying no at this time."

A civilian defense lawyer for Kenny Ray Morrison, 24, focused on the woman's admission that she kissed the accused and asked him if he had a condom, hinting that the sex was consensual.

A native of Kingwood, Texas, and a former backup linebacker, Morrison is accused of two counts of indecent assault and two counts of conduct unbecoming an officer. He is alleged to have had nonconsensual sex with this woman during a rowdy party at a Georgetown hotel in February 2006, and with a second at an Annapolis home in April 2006.

Witness testimony yesterday largely focused on the events surrounding the alleged assault Feb. 4, where numerous Navy football players and civilians had gone to party in a Washington club, renting rooms at an Embassy Suites across the street.

The woman, 20, said she had about eight alcoholic beverages that night, including beer, mixed drinks and whiskey at a Chili's in Annapolis, the hotel room and then a club across the street named Lulu's. She began to feel sick at the club and vomited twice, she said, and again at the hotel.

She fell asleep in her clothes, only to be prodded awake by Morrison, who asked her to go into another room and have sex with him, the woman said.

"I told him I didn't want to," she said. "I said I couldn't."

Lt. Cmdr. Colin Kisor, a Navy prosecutor, asked her if she had brushed her teeth after vomiting. She said no.

"Were you feeling sexy at this point?" he asked. She replied that she wasn't before William Ferris, Morrison's civilian attorney, could object. His objection was sustained.

She then said Morrison kissed her, and "I may have kissed him back."

Despite her objections, he persisted and eventually picked her up from where she was sleeping next to another midshipman - she under the covers and he over them - and carried her to an adjacent bed, the woman testified. He removed her clothes and began to have sex with her, at which point she "froze," she said.

"He asked me to kiss him, and I refused to," she said. "I didn't know what to do at that point."

The female midshipman testified that she passed out, and awoke to Morrison having sex with her a second time. After passing out again, she woke up and became more alert and began to gather her clothes. Morrison pulled her to him and had sex with her a third time, she said.

Keenan Little, a defensive back and close friend of the woman, picked her up from the hotel the next morning at her request, and she reported the assault as soon as she returned to Annapolis, going from a clinic at the academy to a local hospital to Washington, where she gave a statement to a detective.

She remained composed during cross-examination, beating back Ferris on several points, although her voice trembled when he pressed her about why she went to sleep after allegedly being raped, or why she didn't cry for help to her friend, then-Midshipman Jason Monts, who was sleeping 3 feet away. Monts, a former linebacker, graduated from the academy last year.

She admitted asking Morrison if he had a condom, later asserting that she had done so in hopes that he didn't and would stop pressuring her to have sex.

Ferris also asked her to read from a grant of immunity she received from either military prosecution or academy discipline in exchange for her truthful testimony.

Immunity grants for female prosecution witnesses were areas of contention for many supporters of Lamar S. Owens Jr., a former Navy quarterback who was acquitted of rape in July but convicted of lesser charges. Vice Adm. Rodney P. Rempt, the academy superintendent, has recommended Owens be expelled without a degree. The assistant Navy secretary has yet to determine an outcome in that case.

As with Owens' court-martial, several Navy football players took the stand, testifying about activities that painted an unflattering portrait of the team.

Ferris said both women consented to sex and that Morrison would take the stand to give a "diametrically" different version of events than his accusers.

He noted that the second woman, who graduated from the academy last year, had no recollection of any intercourse, consensual or not, so the government will be unable to prove indecent assault.

Lt. Cmdr. Peter Clemow, a second Navy prosecutor assigned to the case, laid out in graphic terms her accusations against Morrison .

This accuser had gone out with friends in April to celebrate her birthday, Clemow said. She had a few beers at an Annapolis bar, he said, and doesn't remember anything until she woke up the next morning, naked and in pain, lying next to Morrison.

"You are going to hear from both victims," Clemow said. "Some of what they say about their reactions is going to make sense to you and some of it may not. ... But listen to the details. One thing these women will tell you very clearly is that they did not consent to what he did." bradley.olson@baltsun.com

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