The statutory rape charge against Utah Jazz guard DeShawn Stevenson was reduced Thursday from a felony to a misdemeanour after a court hearing in which one alleged victim changed her story.
Fresno County Superior Court Judge Alan Simpson ordered Stevenson and his friend DeShawn Anderson, both 20, to stand trial on the reduced charges after a 15-year-old girl took the stand and said she never had sex with Anderson.
When asked by Deputy District Attorney Becky Gong if she and Anderson had sex, the girl said they kissed and he touched her but "not on my bottom part or nothing like that."
"I said (I had sex with him) to get back at him, I guess," she said. "To get him into trouble."
It's unclear why she wanted to get Anderson in trouble.
The girl also repeatedly said she didn't remember all of the things that went on that night.
The 14-year-old girl with whom Stevenson allegedly had consensual sex didn't attend the hearing.
She told police in June that Stevenson called her on the night of June 6 and asked if she had any "freak friends," girls "that will do anything sexually," Fresno police officer David Unruh said during the hearing.
The girls originally told police they went with the men to a Howard Johnson's motel in Fresno and got drunk willingly on brandy and Coke.
The girls both told police they had consensual sex with the men.
"(The 14-year-old) said it was voluntary," Unruh said. "The second thing she said was if she had not been so drunk, she probably would not have had sex with him."
The 15-year-old said Richard Millsap, a former teammate of the suspects at a Fresno high school who now plays at Spring Hill College, watched but didn't participate in the sex. He isn't facing charges.
The 15-year-old told police in June that Stevenson stopped Millsap from trying to have sex with the 14-year-old while she was passed out, Fresno police detective Craig Attkisson said at the hearing.
Stevenson allegedly admitted he had sex with the 14-year-old girl in a telephone conversation recorded by police. The six-foot-five Stevenson, who was a rookie last season, allegedly admitted to the girl's mother the two had sex and implicated his friend.
If convicted, both men face up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine. Had they been tried on the more serious felony charges, they could have faced up to three years in state prison.
Both have pleaded not guilty.
A trial date is set for Oct. 25.
Stevenson played in 40 games for the Jazz, averaging 2.2 points and 0.7 rebounds. He was on the injured list for more than a month with tendinitis in his right knee.