Two former University of Tennessee football players were in court today as their trial got underway.
Ex-football players A.J. Johnson and Michael Williams are accused of raping a female UT athlete during a party at Johnson’s apartment in November 2014. They appeared in Knox County Criminal Court Wednesday morning as their joint trial began.
The court decided to try both ex-players in the same case rather than try the cases separately in order to save time and money.
“We would need 16 witnesses that are out of state to fly, pay for hotel rooms, often meals, transportation to and from court… it’s going to be an expensive case to try once,” Leslie Nassios, Knox County Assistant District Attorney, said.
The accuser in the case is believed to have testified for the first time Wednesday morning. No media or cameras were allowed in the court room due to a Tennessee court rule which protects the privacy of a victim due to the nature of what is being discussed.