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Plea deal OK’d in 2011 gang rape case

Man, 23, poised to testify against 2 ex-Saint Francis football players


– Accused of rape in the October 2011 attack on an intoxicated woman, a Fort Wayne man pleaded guilty to a less serious charge but must assist in the prosecution of two former University of Saint Francis football players also accused in the attack.

In June, Allen County prosecutors charged Troy J. Turner, 23, of the 2000 block of Neuhaus Drive, with raping a drunken woman in October 2011. Austin W. Bower, 23 of the 900 block of Bernie Court, was also charged with rape. Alexander J. Beierwalter, 22, of the 2700 block of Spring Street, was charged with criminal deviate conduct.

Turner pleaded guilty Tuesday to a Class D felony charge of sexual battery. In exchange for his guilty plea, Turner will be given probation and must undergo sexual perpetrators counseling. But he must also provide truthful information to police and investigators.

Beierwalter had been the starting quarterback for the University of Saint Francis football team, playing in one game during the 2011 season before quitting the team a few weeks before the alleged attack. Bower, who was a classmate of Beierwalter in high school, according to the 2011 football media guide, was a wide receiver for the Cougars.

Saint Francis athletic department officials said Bower left the team during the 2011 season.

Turner was a walk-on with the Saint Francis junior varsity men’s basketball team but did not stay with the team beyond a few practices, university officials confirmed.

The university said all three men left the school in late 2011.

According to court documents, the woman called police, saying she had taken refuge in a bathroom after she had been sexually assaulted. When police arrived at the house in the 2000 block of Neuhaus Drive, a mile from the University of Saint Francis campus, they found her in the bathroom.

She said she and two friends came to the house the night before. The woman said she had consumed a lot of vodka and felt ill and went to lie down. The next thing she remembered was someone pulling down her pants and underwear.

DNA consistent with Bower’s was found at the scene. DNA consistent with Turner’s was found during the course of the investigation, court records said.

“I said ‘no’ so many times,” the woman said during an interview at Fort Wayne’s Sexual Assault Treatment Center, according to court records.

On Bower’s cellphone, police found three photos of the woman as she was lying on a bed and being held by a man. In the two other photos, it appears a man is sexually assaulting her, according to court documents.

When the father of the woman’s child confronted Bower about the case, he said, “How am I supposed to tell you what really happened without you calling the police,” according to court documents.

The cases against the two other men are pending in Allen Superior Court and are set for trial early next year. Turner’s sentencing is scheduled for a few weeks after the second trial is set to conclude.