By Julene Thompson
On November 8, 2001 Joshua M. Meyer, a BYU student, was charged with rape, forcible sodomy and forcible sexual abuse of a freshman girl.
Last Thursday at around 8:30 p.m., the jury pronounced Meyer guilty of sodomy and sexual abuse but was undecided on the rape charge, according to University Police Lt. Arnold Lemmon.
For forcible sodomy, a first-degree felony, Meyer could be sentenced to 5 years to life in prison. For forcible sexual abuse, a second-degree felony, punishment is one to 15 years in prison, Lemmon said.
The Fourth District Court Judge James Taylor will give Meyer”s sentence Jan. 8. 2003.
The prosecution could consider retrying the rape charges.
Meyer met the victim in ballet class about a year ago, and after a few months, got her number, Meyer said.
Later that night, he picked her up at the Helamen Halls parking lot and they ended up at his apartment, said prosecution Utah County Attorney Mariane O”Bryant.
The prosecution and defense completed their cases Tuesday, Oct. 29 and gave their closing arguments Thursday morning.
Both pointed out in their closing arguments, that the element of consent is the main issue of the case.
Attorney Donald McCandless focused on inconsistencies in the victim”s descriptions of the event and said the act was consensual.
“She gave no indication that anything was wrong,” Meyer said.
He expressed his belief of his innocence after the court adjourned.
“It”s really sad that people can”t take responsibility for their own actions,” Meyer said. “She blames someone else so she can get away guilt-free.”
He also said, “I try to treat ladies like ladies. If she was so scared, why did she come out at 12:30 at night?”
Meyer said in his testimony that he constantly asked her if she wanted him to stop and she always said she was fine.
For the prosecution, O”Bryant, said The victim was crying and repeatedly begged for Meyer to stop. She said Meyer pinned her down.
O”Bryant explained that Meyer apologized profusely that night. The victim was na?ve and inexperienced and didn”t see Meyer as a threat at first.
She said, after such an emotional experience it is hard to think clearly.
“Being forced into a sexual situation is stressful,” O”Bryant said. “Women often put it upon themselves,”
As the jury left the courtroom, the victim stared straight ahead, expressionless, just as she had done throughout the closing arguments. Meyer stood in a circle of family and friends.
University Police Lt. Lemmon explained that they have had other incidents with Meyer in the past.
“Another women had problems with him, but we did not file any charges with any other victims,” he said.
Also, Last month Meyer pled guilty to a burglary charge for steeling video games at a Wymount residence, Lemmon said. It was a two-year-old case and Meyer denied it at first.
Meyer was given a ban letter shortly after we the criminal investigation was initiated in conjunction with Provo city, Lemmon said.
“We deemed him a threat to the victim and other women on campus,” he said.
According to Steve Baker, honor code office director, banishment from campus is very rare.
“If someone is banned they cannot physically be on campus,” he said. “It”s like trespassing.”