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Court backs ex-UT players on social media bid in rape case

Jamie Satterfield, Knoxville News Sentinel • Apr 12, 2017 at 5:11 PM

A state appellate court ruled Wednesday former University of Tennessee star linebacker A.J. Johnson and a former teammate have the right go after the social media history of the woman who accuses them of rape and her friends in their bid to prove they are wrongfully accused.

The Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals sided with lead defense attorneys Stephen Ross Johnson and David Eldridge on behalf of Johnson and Michael Williams, respectively, in a ruling that not only may bolster their claim of innocence but now opens the door for defense attorneys in criminal cases to directly seek from witnesses social media history without relying on prosecutors or police to do so.

Johnson and Williams are accused of raping a female UT athlete at Johnson's apartment during a party in November 2014. The pair deny the aggravated charges and say the encounter was consensual. To boost that claim, the defense pointed to text messages between Johnson and the accuser showing the pair had engaged in casual sex before the party.

Continue reading at KnoxNews.com.

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