USC linebacker Osa Masina will not face time in a state prison or be registered as a sex offender after cutting a plea deal with prosecutors following an incident it Utah earlier this year. However, he could still be sentenced to two to three years in a county jail and probation, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.
The plea came about as prosecutors amended the allegations levied against Masina only to determine they were unsure their case would result in a conviction in a trial. The confidence in obtaining a conviction was a result of not being allowed to use expert testimony and evidence from Masina’s cellphone and a Snapchat video.
The woman who accused Masina of raping her agreed to the terms of the plea deal proposed by state prosecutors bt stands firm in her stance in saying she did not consent to any sexual contact with Masina.
“We are in support of the state’s decision in this matter,” said Bethany Warr, an attorney for the victim. “Unfortunately this is how the justice system does fail victims, but we understand because of the evidentiary issues in this case this plea has to go forward.”
Masina originally faced three felony charges in Utah for his connection to an alleged rape of a woman. He was suspended by the USC program along with teammate Don Hill, who was connected to an alleged rape of the same woman in another incident occurred in Los Angeles after the incident in Utah allegedly took place. The two players were later removed from the USC roster. Prosecutors in Los Angeles ultimately decided not to pursue rape charges.
Get ready to start hearing arguments about USC being Linebacker U, because the Trojans have quite the stable of linebackers just in the Class of 2015 alone. A class that already included four-star talents Cameron Smith (an early enrollee, No. 7 inside linebacker in the nation) and Osa Masina (No. 3 outside linebacker in the nation) became just a little bit better Tuesday on the eve of National Signing Day.
Porter Gustin, a five-star recruit and the nation’s top-ranked inside linebacker according to Rivals, committed to USC at a live press conference at Salem Hills High School in Utah. Gustin chose USC over Ohio State and new Pac-12 rivals Arizona State and Utah. Gustin’s father, who made some opening comments before Porter announced his decision, said his son did not make a decision on where he was going until 3:15 a.m. mountain time today. Here’s hoping Gustin did not feel pressure to make the announcement and make the decision without giving it enough thought. Whatever the case, USC head coach Steve Sarkisian should be ecstatic about the class that is coming together for the Trojans.
USC is a traditional recruiting powerhouse and can usually have whatever top recruits out west it chooses. As things stand now USC trails only Alabama in the recruiting rankings, but the Trojans an amazing pool of talent joining the program. Of the 21 players currently committed to USC, 17 are four-star recruits. Gustin is the first and only five-star player on the board for right now. USC is in the mix for another five-star linebacker as well.
Outside linebacker John Houston of Gardena, California has USC in the top five heading to signing day, and USC was the destination for the last official visit (and only visit in January). Houston will announce his decision live on ESPNU at 2 p.m. Eastern on Wednesday.
Photo credit: Rivals