Former linebacker Osa Masina takes plea deal in sexual battery case

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Former USC linebacker Osa Masina pleaded guilty to three counts of sexual battery at Utah’s Third District Court on Thursday.

Masina accepted a plea deal that allows him to avoid trial and prison time. He originally faced one count of first-degree felony rape and two counts of forced sodomy in September 2016, which could have amounted to a life sentence in prison if he was found guilty. The plea agreement reduced Masina’s charges to sexual battery, which is a class A misdemeanor, the highest class.

 Masina and former linebacker Don Hill were suspended from the football team in September of 2016 amid an investigation into the sexual assault of a 19-year-old woman. Neither Hill nor Masina were criminally prosecuted in Los Angeles for the incident, in which the alleged victim claimed the men forced intercourse upon her.

The Los Angeles District Attorney decided not to pursue the charges, after deciding that there was insufficient evidence to prove the woman was unable to consent.

However, Masina was later charged in Salt Lake City for another assault case involving the same alleged victim mentioned in the Los Angeles investigation. The woman and Masina reportedly attended a party in Salt Lake City where the assault took place. She alleged that she was intoxicated, fell asleep and woke up to Masina raping her.

Masina will not have to register as a sex offender since he has fewer than four charges of sexual battery against him, court officials said. Masina could face up to one year of jail time for each charge, and his sentencing will take place in 45 to 60 days.

Masina was suspended from USC in September 2016 and is no longer a student at USC, University officials said on Thursday.

Tomás Mier contributed to this report.