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Former UM football player pleads guilty to rape

MISSOULA (AP) — A former University of Montana football player pleaded guilty Tuesday to raping an acquaintance as she slept on his couch after an evening of drinking two years ago.

Beau Donaldson, 22, pleaded guilty to sexual intercourse without consent. Prosecutors have said they will recommend a 30-year prison term with 20 years suspended when he is sentenced on Nov. 13.

Donaldson's attorney, Milt Datsopoulos, said he does not believe prison is the place for his client.

"The victim is conflicted," and could ask for a more severe penalty, Deputy Missoula County Attorney Shaun Donovan told the Missoulian. "The victim has suffered an injury that no amount of punishing the defendant is going to fix."

Donaldson acknowledged the September 2010 assault during a monitored telephone conversation in December, court records said. He was suspended from the football team when the charge was filed in January. Datsopoulos says Donaldson is no longer a student at UM.

Donaldson played mostly on special teams last fall before being injured late in the season. The 2008 graduate of Missoula Big Sky High School missed the 2010 season with a leg injury.

Another suspended Griz football player is facing charges in a sexual assault scandal on campus that has led to investigations by the U.S. Justice and Education departments and the NCAA.

The federal investigations, announced this spring, are looking into how the school, the city and county prosecutors responded to the allegations. The NCAA has said it is investigating the football program, but has not said on what grounds.

A university investigation earlier this year found nine allegations of sexual assault that had gone unreported over 18 months, and two others have been made public since then.

One of those allegations is against Jordan Johnson, who was Montana's starting quarterback until prosecutors filed charges against him in July.

Johnson has pleaded not guilty to sexual intercourse without consent. Prosecutors say he raped an acquaintance while the two were watching a movie in February.


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