Bennett takes bargain

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    By Michael Koberlein

    A former BYU football player accused for involvement in the gang rape of a 17-year-old girl last August, signed a plea bargain Monday.

    Karland Bennett, who was charged with two felony counts of aggravated sexual assault, one felony count of dealing harmful material to a minor, one felony count of obstruction of justice and a misdemeanor count of supplying alcohol to a minor, pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice and dealing harmful material to a minor.

    Bennett has agreed to testify at the trial of other former BYU players in exchange for dropping the two felony counts of aggravated sexual assault and the misdemeanor count of dealing harmful material to a minor. Sentencing is scheduled Oct. 4.

    Bennett has also released a 193-page report telling his side of the story.

    In December, William Turner Jr. agreed to give information to prosecutors if they would try him as a juvenile, but B.J. Mathis and Ibrahim Rashada, the two other accused players, are sticking with their pleas of innocence.

    Bennett?s attorney, Gregory Skordas, said Bennett is still charged with some pretty serious felony counts.

    ?He still faces up to 20 years in prison,? Skordas said.

    He said Bennett was not involved in the physical sexual assault, but took part in trying to help cover it up.

    ?After this event [the sexual assault] occurred, the young men got together and concocted a story about what happened,? Skordas said.

    The apartment where the assault took place still had bodily fluids, which Bennett and the others took care to clean before the police arrived at the scene of the crime, he said.

    The parents of the victim of sexual assault said in a letter released by the court they are grateful for the integrity of those who have come forward and admitted their involvement in the crime.

    ?We can only hope that God?s peace and comfort can be found by all of the parents involved and that forgiveness and restitution can eventually be given and received,? they said in the statement.

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