What Happened?

In September of 2002, Jordan rode with some UNI wrestling teammates to Iowa City to watch the Iowa vs. Iowa State football game.

He and his friends had been invited to stay at the house of a friend of one of Jordan’s teammates after the game. There was a very large party at the small house that night. Throughout the evening, Jordan’s few friends met up with various girls and left the house.

mustardThe party continued strong late into the night and there were people spread throughout the house. Between 2-3 a.m. Jordan grew tired and asked one of the housemates where he was supposed to sleep. He was informed that he might find some room in the bedroom upstairs with a couch in it.  This door, however, was locked. The door to the adjacent bedroom was about one-third to halfway open so he resigned to sleeping there. Upon entering the dark room he could make out two people who appeared to be sleeping, covered, on the bed. It seemed like this was the only place in the house to get some decent sleep so he removed his shoes, took his shirt off to use as a pillow and lay down on the floor just beyond the foot of the bed, as there were only a few feet between it and the wall. Before he could fall asleep, however, he heard vocal sounds that led him to assume that the people on the bed were beginning to engage in sexual activity. This immediately prompted him to start to leave the room. While gathering his things, he noticed a woman on the bed had uncovered herself and was acting alone in rubbing her body and moaning. Startled, he quickly crouched back down. He didn’t think the woman had noticed him. However, when he rose to leave, the woman on the bed was also sitting up, now closer to the foot of the bed. She had clearly noticed him now and as he turned to leave, she reached out and ran both hands through his hair.

Jordan was very uncomfortable to find himself in this position and assumed the woman must have mistaken him for someone else. He said, “Hey,” and pulled away. As he did, she let go, scooted back on the bed and began screaming. Meanwhile, he left the room and started down the stairs while quickly putting on his shirt and tucking his shirttail into his pants. The woman continued to scream. This led a couple of people who saw him come down the stairs to ask what had happened upstairs. Still flustered and embarrassed about what he had witnessed, Jordan simply replied, “nothing happened.” He certainly wasn’t going to just blurt out in front of everybody what he had seen. A couple of minutes later, the man who had been lying in the bed next to the woman came downstairs to question Jordan. Jordan recognized that it was Joe, the same person who had invited him to the party with the expectation that he would spend the night. Joe informed Jordan that the woman was accusing him of performing oral sex on her.

Clearly, this allegation hadn’t put either Joe or Jordan in a favorable position. However, based on the little that he knew of Jordan (they had met earlier through mutual friends who had also spoken highly of Jordan to Joe) and the large amount that he knew about his girlfriend, combined with what he could assess from being in the room, he determined to disbelieve her accusation. Ms. H was also at the party and has since described for the court what followed.Ms H: Then Lindsay came downstairs, or actually, I went upstairs and told Lindsay she needed to come down and explain the situation that had occurred and Jordan could resolve that. So she came down the stairs then and was kind of yelling at Joe and Jordan and everybody else basically. (Transcript 171)

The accuser’s assessment of the situation in court was as follows:

MP: I believe that you stated that you were upset with the people at the house because they didn’t seem to understand how upset you were?

Lindsay: Yes.

Q. All right. In fact you were yelling at them too, weren’t you?

A. Yes.

Q. And you were yelling at “Joe” because he wouldn’t do anything?

A. Yes.

Q. You were mad at “Joe” because he wouldn’t hit the person that you had pointed out as your alleged assailant?

A. That wasn’t quite the reason.

Q. Okay. But you were upset that nothing was happening to the person that you’d identified, weren’t you?

A. I was upset due to the fact that – NO ONE BELIEVED ME.

During Lindsay’s yelling, she also reached over Joe’s shoulder and slapped Jordan. This was the last direct contact between her and Jordan. (However, this wasn’t the first time Lindsay had resorted to hitting someone. About seven hours earlier she had been thrown out of a bar by security for throwing punches at Joe. At that time she was upset with Joe because he hadn’t become jealous of her ex-boyfriend while she openly flirted with him in the bar. Joe was allowed to stay at the establishment. (Transcript 26-27, 222-224))

Jordan was then encouraged to leave the house and he did. Then next morning, he returned to the house to meet up with his friends. Joe was at the house and informed Jordan that the police had been called the night before. They determined that it was in everyone’s best interest if Jordan just go to the police station to clear up any confusion. One of Jordan’s friends had contacted their coach to explain what was happening. The coach then wisely instructed them to not make any statements to the police without legal representation. Jordan ended up not commenting further and was therefore kept overnight in jail. Bail was paid the next day and he returned to the University of Northern Iowa. In July of 2003 he was taken to court under false allegations and found guilty of performing nonconsensual oral sex on Lindsay. He was sentenced to the minimum sentence of 10 years in prison.

Note: actual names are used because they were made public and available online in documentation by the court.