University of Montana football player Beau Donaldson is being charged with the rape of a fellow student who was sleeping on his sofa. According to the girl, she fell asleep on the couch fully clothed, and when she awoke, Donaldson was on top of her having intercourse with her. The 22-year-old football player is currently in custody being held in leiu of $50,000 bond.
In the state of Florida, the alleged actions of Donaldson would amount to the charge of sexual battery without the use of physical force or violence. This is a second degree felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
Oftentimes, these types of cases are the accuser's word against the accused. Even if the woman seeks out medical treatment after the fact, the hospital would do a "rape kit." This includes things such as scraping under her nails for possible skin (if she potentially scratched her attacker), vaginal or anal swabs for possible semen, photos of any bruising. However, if there is no violence used during the sexual battery, physical evidence such as bruising or scratching is unlikely to be present. So oftentimes, the only evidence against a person is the possible DNA from semen. As a result, it's often a viable defense to such charges to assert consent. If the person consented to sexual intercourse, then the fact that the Defendant's DNA is found on the alleged victim is of no consequence.
But police have another means of gathering evidence in such cases where consent would surely prove to be a defense -- the controlled call. This is precisely what was done in Donaldson's case. Police have the victim place a recorded telephone call to the accused. During the call, the victim brings up the assault and talks to the accused about it, with the objective of getting him to admit to the assault. The accused obviously doesn't know he's being recorded by police and more times than one can imagine, the accused inadvertantly confesses to the crime, often in asking the victim for forgiveness. This, obviously, is very damning evidence. Instead of defending the charges by asserting that the victim consented, an accused is faced with not only a mere allegation, but a statement by him admitting that it happened just as the accuser claimed.
Donaldson's attorney stated that he would be pleading not guilty and defending the charges. But with his own words being used against him, it will likely be difficult to defend.