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First Step Nurse Testifies at Former University of Montana Quarterback Jordan Johnson Rape Trial [AUDIO]

Claire Francouer
photo by Peter Christian

Friday’s testimony at the Jordan Johnson rape trial included several witnesses, including three of the accuser’s friends and two staff members of the First Step Resource Center in Missoula.

On the stand first was Brian O’Day, the son of fired University of Montana athletic director Jim O’Day. The younger O’Day confirmed earlier testimony from the young woman who has accused Jordan Johnson of sexual intercourse without consent. She had agreed before the alleged rape occurred to be a designated driver for O’Day and give him a ride home from a local bar.

O’Day testified that when the young woman picked him up, she told him what had happened, he observed that she appeared pale and upset.

The accuser’s friend, Ali Bierer, testified that the young woman was “shaking and scared,” and that she wasn’t enjoying the attention given to her through the ordeal and the trial.

Next on the stand was nurse practitioner Claire Francouer from the First Step Resource Center, who testified of the initial exam that occurred when the young woman was escorted to the facility by her friend, Bierer.

Francouer described how she explained the examination procedure to the alleged victim.

Adam Duerk with Claire Francouer

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Following Francour’s initial testimony, the courtroom was closed to everyone but counsel and jury so they could view the video of the alleged victim’s internal exam. When the courtroom reopened at about 2:30 p.m. defense attorney David Paoli conducted his cross-examination of Francouer.

He brought up in several exchanges that the alleged injuries detailed could have come from either consensual or non-consenual sex, and Francouer for the most part agreed. Paoli also brought up the point that Francouer conducted the exam with a tear in one of her gloves, a point he brought up later as ‘not conforming to professional procedures.’ Francouer’s supervisor at First Step, Mary Pat Hansen, testified that an incident such as a torn glove can happen in an exam. She did not conclude that the torn glove would have changed the results of the exam.

Paoli also challenged Frencouer regarding her continued relationship with the alleged victim, including text messages exchanged by the two when Francouer attended a sexual assault seminar in San Francisco. The seminar occurred in the same time frame as when Robin Pflugrad and Jim O’Day were fired. Paoli produced a text message that seemed to celebrate the firings, and that the young woman was being celebrated for her courage to come forward by those attending the San Francisco seminar.

David Paoli with Claire Francouer

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Wrapping up testimony on Friday was that of the alleged victim’s ex-boyfriend, Loy Bink, a 22 year-old fireman with the Frenchtown Fire Department. Bink, who wept quietly during much of his testimony, said the alleged victim come to the firehouse in Frenchtown on February 5 to watch the Super Bowl with other fire department personnel and guests. Bink said the young woman briefly explained what happened, then fell asleep on the couch with her head on his shoulder.

Defense counsel Kirsten Pabst asked Bink if he was aware that the young woman had lied to him on February 4. The two had planned to ‘hang out’ that evening, but the young woman phoned to say she wanted to stay home and study. Pabst asked if he was upset that he had been lied to, since the young woman had already made plans to pick up Johnson that night to watch a movie. Bink said he was ‘surprised’ when he was told about the lie.

In the courtroom on Friday were several members of the Grizzly football team, as well as law school and journalism students. Johnson’s parents have been in the front row since the trial began.

The trial will not resume until Wednesday, due to the weekend, President’s Day and Judge Townsend’s day of legal procedures each Tuesday.

Click for Full Coverage of the Trial

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