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Former Glenbard West Football Player Convicted Of Rape

ROLLING MEADOWS, Ill. (STMW) -- A former Glenbard West High School football player was convicted Thursday of raping a 15-year-old girl last year shortly before a car crash that killed another teen implicated in the assault.

Demarco Whitley, now 19, was found guilty of four counts of felony criminal sexual assault by Cook County Judge Thomas Fecarotta.

Fecarotta said he didn't believe Whitley's account what happened on the night of Jan. 29, 2010 in Rolling Meadows.

"To put it nicely, his testimony was not only unbelievable, but poorly contrived," Fecarotta said.

The girl sobbed when Fecarotta read his verdict. Whitley, who had been out on bond, was taken into custody at the end of the hearing.

Whitley, who admitted he had sex with the girl but insisted it was consensual, faces between 4 and 15 years in prison on each count.

During his trial, Whitley testified the sexual meeting was arranged for him earlier that day by his friend and football teammate, Pierre Washington-Steel, who knew the Rolling Meadows girl and drove him to meet her that evening.

The sexual activity occurred in Washington-Steel's car barely an hour before the sedan slammed into a utility pole as Whitley and Washington-Steel returned to their homes in DuPage County.

The 17-year-old Washington-Steel died from his injuries days after the crash, while Whitley was severely hurt. Both were popular players on Glenbard West's powerhouse football team during its 2009 season.

While contending the girl agreed to have sex with him, Whitley acknowledged he had never met her before, never asked her name, never gave him her name and said Washington-Steel had never arranged any similar encounters.

Whitley also admitted he at first lied to Rolling Meadows police when questioned, telling them he couldn't remember anything about the sexual encounter because of his crash injuries.

"He lies because he knows the truth is he raped that girl," Assistant State's Attorney Maria McCarthy said Thursday during her closing arguments.

She ridiculed as "ridiculous" his claims that the girl willingly engaged in sex with him without even asking his name.

"According to the defendant, he is the luckiest guy in the world," McCarthy said derisively.

Whitley's attorney contended the girl was lying when she claimed Whitley and Washington-Steel assaulted her.

The girl concocted that claim because she was embarrassed to admit she engaged in consensual sex with two people at once, defense attorney Donna Rotunno argued, contending she offered differing accounts of what happened to different people.

"She's a liar," Rotunno said of the girl, now 17. "She lies to her mother, she lies to police, she lies to her friends. Lies are lies — in a criminal trial, they matter."

While DNA confirms there was sexual activity between the girl and Whitley, Rotunno argued it was consensual, noting physical exams showed the teen suffered no physical injuries or trauma.

McCarthy said the girl initially didn't tell her mother what happened because she blamed herself for getting in the car with Whitley and Washington-Steel, though she disclosed all the details to her mother the next morning.

"She was young and naive," McCarthy said, adding the teen had no reason to wrongly accuse Whitley and Washington-Steel, who she had considered a friend.

"There is absolutely no reason for (the girl) to say she was forced to perform sex acts if it wasn't true," McCarthy said.

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