Former Husker football player Katerian LeGrone appeared in Lancaster County Court on Wednesday where it was decided his case would continue onto district court.
LeGrone had his preliminary hearing on a charge for first degree sexual assault. This hearing was a follow-up of Andre Hunt’s preliminary hearing that took place on Feb. 26.
The prosecutors questioned Lincoln police Sgt. David Lopez on the incident that took place in August of 2019. Lopez testified that the victim came over to Hunt and LeGrone’s apartment to meet Hunt for the first time in person.
Hunt and the victim were engaged in sexual activity when the victim alleged that a person peeked inside the bedroom, walked in and hid behind Hunt. The victim then described to the officer that they switched. She was then engaged in sexual contact with that person who is identified as LeGrone the victim said neither Hunt nor LeGrone had consent.
Lopez testified that the victim identified LeGrone as a suspect through social media.
The victim then went to the hospital and reported the incident. She told the officer she did not resist the two males because she was afraid of what might happen.
Later that night, Lopez and two fellow officers went to Hunt and LeGrone’s place of residence to get a statement as well as evidence, and a suspect kit was collected.
In his initial statement, LeGrone stated there was a female over, but he was in his bedroom and had no physical contact with her. Hunt also confirmed that statement, but LeGrone later reported that he lied in his initial statement.
LeGrone told the officer he did have sex with the victim. He said he heard Hunt having sex in the next room and asked if he could join and the victim said yes. Hunt also told Lopez the victim consented to having sex with both of them.
LeGrone’s attorney Mallory Hughes then cross-examined Lopez. Her argument was that the officer did not collect the victim’s cell phone to corroborate her story. Hughes said the phone should have been collected immediately instead of more than 24 hours after the report was filed. With that, Hughes questioned whether the victim was able to tamper with evidence and falsely accuse Hunt and LeGrone.
The defense argued the victim did not verbally tell the two men that she did not consent to sex.
Hughes said she believes that if the victim had asked to stop, the two would have stopped. She pointed out no threats were made against the victim to force her to have sex with the two. She also pointed out Nebraska is not a confirmation consent state and that LeGrone had no way of knowing she did not consent unless she spoke up.
After the incident, the victim contacted three different people, one being a former Husker football player. The victim also hired a civil attorney before the state charged the two men, which the defense said indicates that she was lying about the situation.
Following Lopez’s testimony, the prosecutor brought investigating officer Cameron Cleland to the stand.
Cleland’s statements lined up with Lopez’s statements and he told the prosecutor the two men’s phones were put into electronic evidence. Hunt and LeGrone had text message conversations about the incident, and Hunt told LeGrone that he needed to change his story. LeGrone responded and said that he looked into it and it’s hard to find DNA. Cleland said LeGrone’s search history corroborates this statement.
After the DNA exam, the officers presented probable cause and put together an affidavit for the arrest of LeGrone.
Cleland also notified the prosecutor there was a Title IX investigation, and in that investigation, Hunt said LeGrone did not ask if he could join.
In the closing arguments the prosecutors argued the main issue in this case is consent and deception, and pointed to the fact the two men tried to conceal the victim’s vision as being questionable. The prosecutor also focused on Hunt’s Title IX statement that LeGrone did not ask if he could join them.
In the defense’s closing arguments. Hughes said there was no deception because the victim knew LeGrone was having sex with her, but she chose not to say anything.
Judge Timothy Phillips ultimately decided to take this case to the district court, and LeGrone’s trial will take place April 1 at 9 a.m.
LeGrone and his attorney will be filing an appeal to this decision.