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O.C. football players charged with rape

January 7, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
Two local college football players and a friend were in court Wednesday accused of raping an unconscious teenager. And prosecutors say they videotaped the whole thing. The victim says she knows the suspects and trusted them, and did not even know what happened until police showed her the videotape.

WATCH: Two local college football players accused of raping unconscious teen

This incident took place last summer, according to the Orange County District Attorney's Office, but they didn't find out about it until this past holiday season.

The three co-defendants in this case were high-school buddies and they were all three arrested in December.

The D.A.'s office said the video was shot in a room at a Tustin motel last July. The alleged victim, an 18-year-old woman, is seen being raped by the three defendants, according to the prosecution.

The defendants are 19-year-old Michael Clemmons of Tustin and 20-year-old Luster Lewis of Irvine, both teammates on the Santa Ana College football team. The third defendant is 22-year-old John Foster from Seaside, in the Central Coast area. All three defendants, according to the prosecution, are old high-school friends from Tustin High School.

"The tape is 19 minutes long," said Orange County District Attorney Spokesperson Susan Kang-Schroeder. "It's extremely graphic. It shows everything from rape to sexual assault, to oral copulation. It shows the defendants trying to wake up the victim."

On the tape the prosecution says the three defendants slapped the 18-year-old in the face and held her nose trying to get her to wake up. The prosecution says the woman never woke up on the videotape.

The tape was shot last summer but not found and turned over to police until last month.

"The third party found the tape and this person, very bravely, he or she turned in the tape over to law enforcement right away and law enforcement was able to investigate the case, was able to find the victim, and arrest the suspects," said Kang-Schroeder.

Clemmons and Lewis are out on $100,000 bail. Foster remains in custody, his bail also $100,000. In a similar case, Gregory Haidl, son of former Orange County Assistant Sheriff Don Haidl, and two of his co-defendants were convicted of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl while she was passed out. The whole thing was videotaped. All three co-defendants have since served state prison terms.

In this case, all three defendants are due back in court in March for more hearings. They each face six felony counts. If convicted, they face a maximum of 18 years in state prison.


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