Masina pleads guilty to lesser charges

Los Angeles Times - - COLLEGE FOOTBALL - As­so­ci­ated press

SALT LAKE CITY — A sus­pended USC foot­ball player ac­cused of sex­ual as­sault in Utah pleaded guilty Thurs­day to mis­de­meanor charges in a deal with pros­e­cu­tors.

The agree­ment car­ries no pos­si­ble state prison time for Osa Masina, 20, but he could be sen­tenced to three years in county jail and pro­ba­tion. Pros­e­cu­tors haven’t de­cided what sen­tence they’ll seek at a hear­ing in De­cem­ber, pros­e­cu­tor Donna Kelly said.

Masina was a sopho­more line­backer for the Tro­jans when he was sus­pended. He no longer at­tends USC.

De­fense at­tor­ney Greg Sko­r­das said the plea gives his client a chance to “pick up the pieces” at some point. Masina won’t be listed as a sex of­fender.

His ac­cuser’s at­tor­ney, Bethany Warr, said the guilty pleas to three counts of sex­ual bat­tery are “grossly dis­pro­por­tion­ate” for what she called a vi­o­lent sex­ual as­sault. The agree­ment was the best pros­e­cu­tors could do af­ter Judge Keith Kelly ex­cluded key ev­i­dence, she said.

Masina was ini­tially charged with rape and two counts of forcible sodomy, all felonies. His ac­cuser tes­ti­fied that Masina as­saulted her af­ter ed­i­ble mar­i­juana and al­co­hol left her nearly un­able to move at a July 2016 party in the Salt Lake City sub­urb of Cot­ton­wood Heights.

Sko­r­das said his client be­lieved the en­counter was con­sen­sual but didn’t take into ac­count the wo­man’s clear im­pair­ment.

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