The former University of Idaho football player accused of rape after an incident at a campus dormitory in December pleaded guilty Wednesday in Latah County 2nd District Court to misdemeanor sexual battery and was sentenced to just shy of six months of unsupervised probation and two weeks in jail.
Kyree Curington, a freshman defensive back for the Vandals at the time of the crime, pleaded innocent to felony rape Feb. 28. The charge was recently amended to sexual battery.
Latah County Prosecuting Attorney Bill Thompson recommended three weeks of incarceration Wednesday while Curington’s Coeur d’Alene attorney, Robyn McPherson, asked Judge John Judge to withhold judgment and give Curington credit for time already served, which was one day.
Judge withheld judgment, which means if Curington successfully completes probation, he could have the charge dismissed.
Sexual battery carries a maximum penalty of one year in jail and a $2,000 fine. The maximum penalty for rape is life in prison.
The victim, a University of Idaho student at the time of the incident and who was not present in the courtroom Wednesday, told the court in February she repeatedly told Curington “no” and even tried to push him off her.
She said she started communicating with Curington earlier that week after he reached out to her on social media.
They reportedly encountered each other for the first time at Stubblefields in Pullman the night of the crime. She eventually let him into her dorm room, where they got into her top bunk.
Latah County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Ashley Jennings, who sat next to Thompson on Wednesday, read a victim impact statement.
The victim wrote the last several months have been the “roughest and darkest ever.”
“I wish nothing but the worst for this ruthless being and for all that he has caused and done to my life,” she wrote.
She wrote, “No means no, and if someone doesn’t get that, they’re part of the problem.”
McPherson said the messages exchanged between the two prior to their encounter were of a “flirty, romantic nature” and the pictures sent by the victim to Curington were “mildly provocative in nature.”
She said Curington believed he was going to her room that night for some sort of sexual activity.
“The problem in this case is not force,” McPherson said. “It’s lack of communication between the parties.”
McPherson said Curington should have had a clear conversation with the victim before having sex and that he made a mistake.
Curington lost his scholarship and was suspended from UI.
Curington, wearing a blue dress shirt and tie with dress pants, stood next to his attorney Wednesday and apologized to the victim and her family. He said he left her room that night with a hug and did not realize she was hurt.
He said he plans to form relationships based on clear communication, respect and will take time getting to know the person better so an incident like this does not happen again. Curington said he will also share with friends and classmates the importance of communication.
If Curington violates his probation conditions, Judge can impose the maximum sexual battery penalty. Judge also ordered Curington to pay $157.50 in court costs, and restitution is still to be determined.
Curington will not register as a sex offender in Idaho, but it is possible he will need to in Louisiana, where he lives.
Garrett Cabeza can be reached at (208) 883-4631, or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.