IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) -- One of two former University of Iowa football players convicted of assault stemming from a 2007 sexual encounter with a female athlete could avoid jail time Friday after testifying against his former teammate, even though his account didn't help the prosecution.
Abe Satterfield of Erie, Pa., is scheduled to be sentenced at the Johnson County courthouse. Under a plea bargain reached last April, prosecutors agreed to recommend he receive no jail time and no terms of probation on one count of assault with intent to inflict serious injury.
Prosecutors had alleged Satterfield sexually assaulted the freshman student in a vacant dorm room in October 2007, then allowed teammate Cedric Everson to do the same while she slept. Satterfield maintained the sex was consensual and he denied helping Everson, his teammate and roommate.
Under the plea deal, prosecutors dropped two counts of felony sexual abuse that could have sent Satterfield to prison for years. He pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor assault charge and agreed to testify at Everson's trial last week.
Jurors convicted Everson on Thursday of assault, a simple misdemeanor, and he faces up to 30 days in jail when he is sentenced next month. But jurors declined to convict Everson of third-degree sexual abuse, which would have carried up to 10 years in prison.
Everson's attorney, Leon Spies, said Satterfield's testimony helped his client avoid being convicted of the much more serious charge.
Satterfield, 22, testified that he ended up in the Hillcrest Residence Hall room with the woman to get some privacy after she was flirting with him. He said she "was the aggressor," it was her idea to have sex, and she never told him to stop. He said Everson came in the room while he and the woman were sleeping, tapped him on the shoulder and told him to get out of bed. Satterfield said he fell asleep on the floor and didn't know what happened between Everson and the woman, but climbed back in bed after Everson woke him up and left.
"Abe is an engaging, charming and I think pretty believable person in a lot of respects. I don't know if he was our most helpful witness, but he gave a dimension to the case that the jury absolutely, positively needed to hear," said Spies, Everson's attorney. "He was an important ingredient."
County Attorney Janet Lyness and Assistant County Attorney Anne Lahey did not return a message from The Associated Press seeking comment after Everson's verdict. But Lahey told The Gazette newspaper in Cedar Rapids they were considering contesting Satterfield's plea agreement if they feel his testimony was inconsistent with its terms.
In the plea, Satterfield admitted that he acted "with the intent to cause serious mental anguish" to the woman and that his actions "were insulting or offensive" to her. He did not make any such admission on the witness stand.
The woman testified she performed oral sex on Satterfield in the hopes of avoiding intercourse because she was a virgin, but he later pinned her down and assaulted her against her will. She said she told him to stop because "it hurt so bad," and she woke up the next morning naked and covered in blood. The woman said she did not learn until weeks later that Everson had also had sex with her.