UPDATE: Former FSU Football Player Found Guilty of Sexual Battery

By: Eyewitness News, Julie Montanaro Email
By: Eyewitness News, Julie Montanaro Email

UPDATED 12.6.2011 by Julie Montanaro

A sentencing hearing scheduled for this morning has been re-set for December 14th.

Maurice Harris was scheduled to be sentenced for a sexual battery conviction, but attorneys asked the judge to postpone it.

Prosecutor Jack Campbell and defense attorney Elizabeth Peskin say they are trying to negotiate a lesser sentence if Harris agrees to waive any appeals.

Right now, Harris is looking at 8 to15 years in prison. Attorneys would not say what kind of time he might be facing if he accepts the deal.

Harris needed more time to discuss the deal with his attorney before making a decision.
------------------------------------------------------
UPDATE 11-15-2011 by Julie Montanaro

A former FSU football player is found guilty of rape in a matter of minutes.

Maurice Harris is now facing up to 15 years in prison. Eyewitness News Reporter Julie Montanaro is live at the Leon County Courthouse with more on the testimony and the verdict

Maurice Harris was accused of assaulting his ex-girlfriend as many as five times that night ... but jurors were asked to decide whether he was guilty or not guilty of just one. And they decided in less than 15 minutes.

"I don't remember ... "

The victim said it over and over again ... dozens of times ... as prosecutors tried to ask her about the night of May 7th ... the night she told police her ex-boyfriend Maurice Harris raped her repeatedly.
"do you want to be here today? answer: negative. we actually had to subpeona you and you asked me repeatedly not to make you come here? answer: true. "

The victim bailed Harris out of jail and asked prosecutors to drop the charges against Harris twice. Defense attorneys point out the woman resumed her relationship with Harris afteward.

Deense attorney Elizabeth Teskin says, ":" after the incident occured, miss BLEEP and mr. harris continued to talk continues to have consensual sex, and continued to date. "

Yet prosecutors say just because the woman had forgiven Harris didn't mean he didn't do it. They played a recorded phone conversation between the two the day after the alleged incident ...in which Harris says "I'm sorry for making you feel this way." "I'm sorry for raping you."

you never answered my question about "if he loved me, why would he do that?"

The prosecutor said he felt it was important to pursue the rape charges despite the victim's reluctance to testify. The case is "state versus Maurice Harris" not the woman versus Maurice Harris, he said. Harris is scheduled to be sentenced December 6th.

-------------------------------------------------------

UPDATED 2:35pm by Julie Montanaro

A jury deliberated for less than 15 minutes before finding Maurice Harris guilty of sexual battery.

He could face up to 15 years in prison for it.

Sentencing is set for December 6th at 8:30am.

------------------------------------------------------------------
Updated 1:10pm

The defense has rested its case without calling Maurice Harris or any other witnesses to the stand.

Prosecutors replayed portions of a recorded phone call between Harris and the alleged victim during final arguments to the jury. "I'm sorry for raping you," Harris says near the end of the 24 minute recording.

The defense attorney told the jury that actions speak louder than words. Does a rape victim bail someone out of jail? Does she continue to have sex with him? Does she maintain a relationship with him? "Actions speak much louder than words in this case," the defense attorney said.

Defense attorneys says there was no proof of any trauma to the woman in a medical exam and no evidence of any scratches on Harris.

Prosecutors say actions do speak louder than words in this case. The woman called her family and police and submitted to a medical exam and a search of her apartment, the prosecutor said.

_______________________

Updated 12:50pm

Maurice Harris told the judge he does not wish to testify.

________________________

Nov. 15, 2011 -Noon

Former FSU football player Maurice Harris is now on trial in courtroom 3C. He was arrested in May after police say he scaled the fence at his ex-girlfriend's apartment complex, banged on her door until she let him in and repeatedly assaulted her.

Prosecutors say Harris got upset when he searched the woman's phone and found text messages between her and another man.

Prosecutors say after the woman reported the incident she made a controlled, recorded call to Harris. They intend to play that tape for the jury.

Prosecutors say the sex was not consensual.

Defense attorneys say the sex was consensual. They contend the woman bailed Harris out of jail and twice asked for the charges to be dropped.

The defense attorney contends the woman and Harris had an off again, on again relationship that spanned three years. She contends the woman was pressured by her family to report this incident.

______________________

Updated 11:40am

The state has rested its case against Maurice Harris.

______________________

Updated 11:15am

Prosecutors are now playing a recording of a phone call made by the woman to Maurice Harris the day after the alleged assault.

In it, the woman said "If you love me, why did you do that?"

"Is it necessary to rape me five or six times?" she asked later in the conversation.

"I love you ... crazy," Harris said later.

"If you care, you wouldn't have forced yourself on me," she said, "I don't think you think it's wrong."

___________________________________

Updated 10:15am

The alleged victim is now on the stand. She says she does not want to be here and says she has asked prosecutors repeatedly to drop the charges.

The woman says she and Harris dated off and on since 2008. "I care about his well being," she said.

She is answering almost every question with "I don't remember."

Prosecutors asked her if she told police the truth about what happened in May and she said yes.

________________________________

November 15 by Julie Montanaro

Former FSU football player Maurice Harris is now on trial in courtroom 3C. He was arrested in May after police say he scaled the fence at his ex-girlfriend's apartment complex, banged on her door until she let him in and repeatedly assaulted her.

Prosecutors say Harris got upset when he searched the woman's phone and found text messages between her and another man.

Prosecutors say after the woman reported the incident she made a controlled, recorded call to Harris. They intend to play that tape for the jury.

Prosecutors say the sex was not consensual.

Defense attorneys say the sex was consensual. They contend the woman bailed Harris out of jail and twice asked for the charges to be dropped.

The defense attorney contends the woman and Harris had an off again, on again relationship that spanned three years. She contends the woman was pressured by her family to report this incident.

_______________________________

UPDATED: 8/2/11 at: 5:45 PM

Maurice Harris did not enter a plea August 2.

Instead, a trial date was set for November 14, 2011.

Harris was arrested in May 2011 when police say he climbed a fence and forced his ex-girlfriend to have sex several times.

He was also arrested in 2009 for stealing a parking boot.

The 22-year-old was charged with grand theft for that one.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Maurice Harris has been booked into the Leon County jail on $25,000 bail.

According to the affidavit, the 22-year-old forced his ex-girlfriend to have sex six times on Saturday night.

Sunday, Harris threatened to kill himself with steak knives and then eventually left around noon.

The victim told officers Harris then told her he was at the top floor of an FSU parking garage threatening to jump off.

FSU PD located Harris in the garage in his vehicle and took him into custody.

Harris was arrested in 2009 on a felony grand theft charge for stealing a parking boot. The former high school star played in only six games for FSU.

The affidavit is attached at the top of this story.


You must be logged in to post comments.

Username:
Password (case sensitive):
Remember Me:

Read Comments

Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by shakir Location: Atlanta on Nov 17, 2011 at 12:59 PM
    Funny that someone would say something about FAMU during this conversation....by the way "idiot", the guy played for FSU!!! Maybe FSU should leave town.
  • by Numbers on Nov 16, 2011 at 11:43 AM
    I wish someone in authority had MADE me testify-oh, yeah, if the rapist isn't charged, even though reported/rape kit done, etc. YOU CANNOT TESTIFY AGAINST SOMEONE WHO ISNT HELD ACCOUNTABLE If they would have listened to me 25 years ago he would have not done the same to all those other young women/girls and yes, young men/boys. Not to mention all the tax$$ that have been spent on his criminal career TO THIS DAY which is followed VERY closely by folks like me. This sounds sickenly familiar. He even MAILED me letters ADMITING in his own handwriting what he did, bragging/taunting me-they still did nothing b/c I used to date him. Law enforcement even called me names and intimidated ME like I knew about his crimes! So go figure THAT. SameS***DifferentDay!
  • by Dummy on Nov 16, 2011 at 10:41 AM
    This lady was probably too afraid of such a "bad" guy. Make fun if you want....I have been in a position that I shoud have had an ex arrested also, then didn't because I was too afraid of him and his friends. I think she nneds prayers and coulseling. He needs prison with BUBBA!!!
  • by sad Location: story on Nov 16, 2011 at 10:10 AM
    you know this type of situation happens a lot. he is wrong for raping her. she is remorseful for calling the cops, but in this state especially, they will convict you real quick on domestic violence especially if you are black and even if charges are dropped by the vistim. my friend is facing 15 years cause he fought with his girlfriend, she called the police, the state picked up charges....sad. man, this is sad...
  • by Duh ? on Nov 16, 2011 at 08:40 AM
    this is why some women continue to be sexually and physically abused. They keep letting the abusers back in... In some cases it leads to death or the woman strikes back violently leading her to be in trouble..
  • by Zipper Location: Tally on Nov 16, 2011 at 06:18 AM
    Poor BOY, should have kept his zipper up.
  • by Anonymous on Nov 16, 2011 at 05:00 AM
    Looks like it will be his time soon in prison! Go drop that soap Harris.
  • by kitty kitty Location: ga on Nov 16, 2011 at 12:07 AM
    15 minutes? that is like a 100 years in dog time.
  • by Sandy Beaches Location: Tallahassee on Nov 16, 2011 at 12:04 AM
    I don't think he done it because he be having a lot of bumps on his face. Hr would not be having all those bumps if he be having a girlfriend regular. We will know after he get to prison if the bumps go away.
    • reply
      by GA GUL on Nov 16, 2011 at 05:32 AM in reply to Sandy Beaches
      WHAT IN THE WORLD ARE YOU TRYING TO SAY??????
    • reply
      by Dee on Nov 16, 2011 at 06:01 AM in reply to Sandy Beaches
      0_o I know you are trying to be 'racistly' funny, but that was just stupid...wasnt even funny. Freakin idiot!
      • reply
        by Dee Peferct One on Nov 16, 2011 at 11:14 AM in reply to Dee
        I dont be racist because I be getting those bumps to before I got married after I had my second child. I seen some white peoples with them too but not any Mexicans because they be sweating all the time. I may be the idiot but I dont be the rapist. he be the idiot when he say he shouldnt have raped her on the telephone. He should have texted it instead so they couldnt hear his voice. So now who is rapist and stupid?
  • by please get it right Location: tallahassee fl. on Nov 15, 2011 at 10:04 PM
    why is it when i had man that tried to kill me. i recorded our convasation to let the leon county sherriff department hear it they told me that they could not use it because he did not know he was being record. they listened at it and herad everything he said and told me i had to put it in writing.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Nov 16, 2011 at 05:19 AM in reply to please get it right
      Its simple...an illegal recording is not the same as leaving a voicemail.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Nov 16, 2011 at 05:59 AM in reply to please get it right
      Did you put it in writing?
WCTV 1801 Halstead Blvd. Tallahassee, FL 32309
Copyright © 2002-2016 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 121527134 - wctv.tv/a?a=121527134
Gray Television, Inc.