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USC Sports

Second USC linebacker named in sexual assault investigation

Second USC linebacker involved in sexual assault allegations
USC linebacker Don Hill (59) looks on before a game against Oregon on Nov. 21, 2015.
(Ryan Kang / Associated Press)

A 19-year-old woman told Los Angeles Police Department investigators that USC football players Osa Masina and Don Hill sexually assaulted her in July at an off-campus apartment when she was so intoxicated that she could barely move or speak, according to a search warrant in the case.

The woman said Masina gave her two Xanax pills, leaving her feeling as if she “wasn’t in control of what was happening,” according to the warrant. After taking the pills, drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana, she realized she was naked and Masina and Hill were performing sex acts on her.

“She knew for a fact she could not have given consent because she couldn’t move, speak or even recall much of the night’s details,” the affidavit attached to the search warrant said.

USC sent Hill home Friday in advance of Saturday’s season opener against Alabama in Arlington, Texas, for violating team rules. The school suspended Masina earlier this week, though he was still allowed to attend classes and practice. 

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Masina and Hill both are reserves on the team. Masina is a sophomore from Salt Lake City and Hill is a redshirt sophomore from Boise, Idaho.

Neither player has been charged with a crime.

The search warrant, which allowed police to take Masina’s iPhone and obtain two DNA samples last week, said that he sent video of him having sex with the woman to her former boyfriend via Snapchat. The former boyfriend, a member of Arizona’s football team, told police that he could only stand to watch about three seconds of the video.

“[The former boyfriend] was able to catch a glimpse of the victim’s face. Victim’s eyes appeared to be closed and it did not appear she realized she was being recorded,” the affidavit attached to the search warrant said. “The victim did not utter any words nor was she making any sounds. [The former boyfriend] did not recall seeing any of the victim’s limbs moving.”

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In a second interview with police cited in the search warrant, the former boyfriend said the woman “did not appear to be alert” in the video.

Masina’s Salt Lake City-based attorney, Greg Skordas, said in an email to The Times that police are “looking for things on his seized cell phone … which we think don’t exist.” The attorney didn’t elaborate.

Masina and Hill didn’t respond to messages seeking comment. It’s unclear whether Hill has retained an attorney.

Dmitry Gorin, a former sex crimes prosecutor who is a defense attorney said, “California rape laws state that someone who is too intoxicated or unconscious cannot provide consent. … That’s why video evidence is so important, as it provides objective, unbiased evidence of whether the accuser was too intoxicated to consent.”

Police in Cottonwood Heights, Utah, are also investigating Masina for allegedly raping the same woman on July 26, 12 days after the alleged incident in Los Angeles.

A July 29 report from the Cottonwood Heights Police Department attached to the LAPD search warrant described the woman attending a house party with Masina and others where they drank alcohol and consumed cookies laced with marijuana. The woman told police she fell asleep in the home’s basement and awoke to Masina raping her.

The woman told police she passed out, then came to as Masina performed another sex act on her before she again lost consciousness.

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“[The woman] stated that she felt like she was not able to say no or fight him off due to her intoxicated state,” the police report said.

Masina faces four allegations in the case, including forcible rape, forcible sodomy and exploitation of a telecommunications device.

Police in Utah informed USC’s Department of Public Safety of the allegations Aug. 2, according the LAPD report.

LAPD Deputy Chief William Scott said the investigation is ongoing.

“We are making further efforts to gather evidence,” he said. “We need some things still to complete the work.”

USC has offered few details about its response to the matter, citing privacy laws. Football Coach Clay Helton said that the school, not the football program, has handled the disciplinary measures.

 

nathan.fenno@latimes.com

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Follow Nathan Fenno on Twitter @nathanfenno

zach.helfand@latimes.com

Follow Zach Helfand on Twitter @zhelfand

richard.winton@latimes.com

Follow Richard Winton on Twitter @LAcrimes


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