Jury selection in next month’s rape trial of former University of Montana Grizzlies quarterback Jordan Johnson will be held at the Holiday Inn because no courtroom in Missoula is large enough to handle it, a judge said Tuesday.
At a court hearing, the prosecution and defense attorneys confirmed that they’re on track for a Feb. 8 trial, although both sides said they expected to file last-minute motions and requests. For weeks now, all such filings, as well as Missoula County District Court Judge Karen Townsend’s orders in the case, have been sealed from the public.
The case has attracted intense scrutiny, and the prosecution sought an extra large jury pool. The Missoula County District Court Clerk’s Office has contacted 400 potential jurors.
Defense attorney David Paoli told Townsend on Tuesday he’d prefer that jury selection be done in a courtroom.
Not possible, she responded. “We can’t accommodate everyone,” she said.
Johnson was charged in July with sexual intercourse without consent after a fellow UM student said he raped her as they watched a movie at her home in February 2012. He was suspended from the team as a result.