December 30, 2016

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) A judge reduced bail Friday for a suspended University of Southern California football player charged with rape in Utah.

Osa Masina's bail was decreased to $100,000 from $250,000 during a court hearing in Salt Lake City.

Masina has been free on bail since shortly after his September arrest. Defense attorney Greg Skordas asked for the reduced bail to lessen the financial hardship on Masina's family.

Utah state Judge Keith Kelly said his decision doesn't mean the allegations against Masina are minor offenses, The Salt Lake Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/2hU0sO2)

''I've heard the testimony of the victim at the preliminary hearing,'' Kelly said. ''This is a very serious crime.''

Earlier this month, Kelly ordered Masina to stand trial on rape and two counts of forcible sodomy following an evidentiary hearing in which a woman said marijuana and alcohol left her nearly unable to move during the attack following a summertime party in Utah.

She testified that the sexual assault left her afraid, helpless and injured.

Masina, 19, has pleaded not guilty. His lawyer says the sexual activity was consensual.

Masina was a standout at Brighton High School in suburban Salt Lake City and a sophomore linebacker for USC before he was suspended.

Skordas said a court report deemed Masina a low to moderate risk to the community, but prosecutors and an attorney for the woman opposed the bail reduction.

Kelly said he felt comfortable about the reduction after he set requirements that call for Masina to make daily check-ins with caseworkers, get counseling and do random urine tests.

A four-day trial has been set to begin on March 28.

The Associated Press does not generally name people who say they are victims of sex crimes.

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Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune, http://www.sltrib.com

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