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Aug 7 09 10:59 PM
LEANA ORSUA, NEWS-PRESS STAFF WRITER
February 24, 2007 12:00 AM
A UCSB soccer player is back behind bars after a second alleged victim claimed she was sexually battered by the
21-year-old player, who is already suspected of rape.
The new allegation comes less than a week after Eric Frimpong, a Ghana-born athlete, was arrested on suspicion
of sexually assaulting a woman at an Isla Vista beach.
Following a hearing Friday before Santa Barbara County Superior Court Judge Joseph Lodge, Mr. Frimpong, who had
been free after posting bail earlier in the week, was handcuffed and booked into Santa Barbara County Jail for a second time.
The judge increased bail from $100,000 to $250,000. Arraignment is set for Tuesday.
Mr. Frimpong looked solemn as he sat beside his attorney, Robert Sanger, who served on Michael Jackson's
defense team in Santa Maria. In addition to the second assault charge, Judge Lodge told attorneys that he was concerned that Mr. Frimpong could be a flight
risk because he is not a U.S. citizen.
At the urging of Deputy District Attorney Mary Barron, the judge ruled that Mr. Frimpong would have to surrender
his passport to the court by 4 p.m. Friday.
A senior midfielder, Mr. Frimpong was a key player in UCSB's win against UCLA in the national championships
in December 2006. He recently signed to play with the Kansas City Wizards, and could be barred from attending any out-of-state preseason matches.
That issue will be decided Tuesday along with a request by Mr. Sanger for a gag order. He said he made the
request out of concern about media coverage.
"I want this case tried in court rather than the media," Mr. Sanger told the judge, adding that
reporters would attempt to get "anybody who will talk to do a salacious interview behind a blue screen."
For now, Ms. Barron and Mr. Sanger have agreed to refrain from making comments to the media.
At Tuesday's hearing, Mr. Sanger also plans to ask that his client's bail be reduced.
Aug 7 09 11:04 PM
February 23, 2007 12:19 PM
A Santa Barbara judge today increased bail for Eric Frimpong, the UCSB soccer star accused of raping a female
university student and ordered the 21-year-old to hand over his passport by 4 p.m.
Superior Court Judge Joseph Lodge increased bail from $100,000 to $250,000.
Mr. Frimpong, a senior midfielder from Ghana, is accused of raping a woman at a nearby beach Feb. 17 has been
free since his arrest that day after posting bond.
He learned today that a felony complaint has been filed by a second alleged victim.
Aug 7 09 11:05 PM
SCOTT STEEPLETON, NEWS-PRESS ASSOCIATE EDITOR
February 22, 2007 7:02 AM
The attorney representing a UCSB soccer player accused of raping a female student told the News-Press on
Wednesday that he intends to seek a gag order in the case.
Robert Sanger, a Santa Barbara attorney who was part of Michael Jackson's successful defense team, said
prosecutors are going over evidence against his client, Eric Frimpong, 21 -- and if charges are filed, Mr. Sanger said he will ask a judge to prevent all
involved from discussing the case outside the courtroom.
Mr. Frimpong is free on bail. Arraignment is set for March 28. A hearing on conditions of his bail will take
place on Friday.
Mr. Sanger said his Ghana-born client would not be making any statements before appearing in court, and he hopes
a judge will make sure that no one involved in the case makes any statements, either.
"The reason for a protective order is to avoid trying the case in the press," Mr. Sanger said.
"I'm only responding because the sheriff's office issued a press release."
A day earlier, Sgt. Erik Raney of the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department sent to the media
information on the arrest and the alleged crime that authorities said took place early Saturday. The press release stated that an unidentified UCSB student
claimed that after striking up a conversation with a black man named Eric who had an "island" accent, the two walked to an Isla Vista beach, where
the man struck her, held her by the throat and raped her.
A search of Isla Vista later that day, Sgt. Raney said, led detectives to a park where a man matching the
alleged attacker's description was playing pingpong.
Detectives detained Mr. Frimpong, and later booked him into the Santa Barbara County Jail. He was released after
"The press release was extremely one-sided," Mr. Sanger said. "Mr. Frimpong absolutely maintains
his innocence and we intend to enter a plea of not guilty when we go to court on this." Finally, said Mr. Sanger, his client "has cooperated fully
with the sheriff's office on this matter, and he voluntarily submitted DNA."
"We don't intend to comment any further in the press," he said.
Mr. Frimpong, a senior midfielder, was a key player in UCSB's win against UCLA in the national championship
game in St. Louis in December, and he was the Kansas City Wizards' 30th pick overall in the recent Major League Soccer draft.
Aug 7 09 11:07 PM
By Scott Steepleton
February 21, 2007 1:32 PM
The attorney representing a UCSB soccer player accused of raping a female student told the News-Press today that
he intends to seek a gag order in the case.
Robert Sanger said prosecutors are going over evidence against his client, Eric Frimpong, 21 - and when and if
charges are filed, Mr. Sanger said he will ask a judge to prevent either side from discussing the case outside the courtroom.
"The reason for a protective order is to avoid trying the case in the press," said Mr. Sanger.
"I'm only responding because the sheriff's office issued a press release."
On Tuesday, Sgt. Erik Raney of the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department sent to the media information
on the arrest and the alleged crime. The release stated that an unidentified UCSB student claimed that after striking up a conversation with a black man with
an "island" accent named Eric on Feb. 17, the two walked to an Isla Vista beach where the man struck her, held her by the throat and forcibly raped
A search of Isla Vista, Sgt. Raney said, led detectives to a park where a man matching the alleged
attacker's description was playing ping pong.
Detectives detained, and later booked Mr. Frimpong at County Jail. He was released after posting
"The press release was extremely one-sided," said Mr. Sanger. "Mr. Frimpong absolutely maintains
his innocence and we intend to enter a plea of not guilty when we go to court on this."
Finally, said Mr. Sanger, his client "has cooperated fully with the sheriff's office on this matter,
and he voluntarily submitted DNA."
Mr. Sanger provided no further details on what material was submitted.
Aug 7 09 11:09 PM
February 21, 2007 7:37 AM
A member of UC Santa Barbara's national championship men's soccer team was arrested over the weekend on
suspicion of raping a woman on the beach in the 6600 block of Del Playa Drive.
Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department spokesman Sgt. Erik Raney said Eric Frimpong, 21, a native of
Ghana, met the unidentified victim while she was walking to a party on Saturday morning. The two struck up a conversation and walked to the beach.
"Shortly after arriving at the beach, the suspect turned violent and struck the victim in the face,"
said Sgt. Raney. "She struggled and attempted to yell for help, but the suspect held her throat. The suspect held the victim and forcibly raped her. The
suspect then fled from the beach."
Authorities said the woman was able to call for help and was taken to Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital for
In an interview with deputies, the woman identified her alleged attacker as a student named Eric. She described
him as black, average to short in height, with a slender build. She also said he spoke with an "island" accent, said Sgt. Raney.
During a search of the Isla Vista area for the suspect Saturday afternoon, authorities found a man matching the
description playing pingpong in a park and detained him.
"Sheriff's detectives developed probable cause to arrest Eric Frimpong for rape," said Sgt.
He was booked into County Jail with bail set at $100,000.
Mr. Frimpong posted bail and is awaiting his first court appearance.
The senior midfielder was a key player in UCSB's win against UCLA in the national championship game in St.
Louis in December 2006.
Mr. Frimpong was recently selected in the Major League Soccer supplemental draft as the 30th overall pick for
the Kansas City Wizards.
Aug 8 09 5:30 PM
KATHLEEN STINSON, NEWS-PRESS STAFF WRITER
February 29, 2008 8:00 AM
Santa Barbara County Superior Court Judge Brian Hill told a courtroom packed with Eric Frimpong supporters
Thursday at the former UCSB soccer player's motion for a new trial that if the dental experts' testimony indicates another man arguably could have
caused the bite mark on the victim, he would order a new trial.
"This is the most people I think I've seen in the courtroom," Judge Hill told a standing-room-only
crowd at Mr. Frimpong's hearing on a motion for a new trial.
In December, Mr. Frimpong, 22, who came to UCSB as an international student athlete from Ghana, was convicted of
raping a female UCSB student.
Before the hearing, about 20 current and former members of the UCSB soccer team stood in line, along with
several other supporters of Mr. Frimpong, outside the courtroom to wait to pass through a metal detector. The team wore blue polo shirts in a show of unity for
a fellow team member, one of whom said Mr. Frimpong is like a brother to them.
Mr. Frimpong was brought into the courtroom in orange jail-issued clothes. He has been incarcerated in the
County Jail since the guilty verdict was reached. At the hearing, he sat calmly, just as he had throughout the trial.
Judge Hill began the hearing by addressing the audience.
"I'm encouraging responsible criticism of our court system -- that's why the doors of this
courtroom are open" and cameras have been allowed in, he said.
Looking out over the group of Mr. Frimpong's supporters, Judge Hill said, "My view of the evidence is,
in my 27 years of practice ... I have not seen a rape case with so much incriminating, powerful evidence."
But, he added, the ultimate goal is to provide a fair trial. If there is reason to believe probative evidence
was excluded from the trial, he said, "we'll have a new (trial)."
Mr. Frimpong's attorney, Robert Sanger, filed a motion for a new trial alleging the prosecution failed to
provide exculpatory evidence to the defense as well as on other grounds.
The testimony of the dental experts, of which the prosecution has three and the defense one, is relevant because
the victim testified her attacker bit her on the cheek in the course of the rape.
During the trial, the prosecution's dental expert testified that he could not exclude Mr. Frimpong as the
person who made the mark on the face of the victim.
Mr. Frimpong's dental expert became ill before the close of the trial and was not able to
First to testify at the motion hearing Thursday was the defense's dental expert, Dr. Charles Michael Bowers,
who said the quality of the bite mark on the face of the victim was a "1," on a scale of 0-6, with the higher number being the best quality. He said
that neither Mr. Frimpong nor Benjamin Randall, the victim's friend whose teeth were also examined by the experts, are in the class of unique.
He said that one of Mr. Frimpong's teeth does not occupy the same location as the bruise created by the
bite. He said the bruise had a symmetry.
"There is a lack of symmetry with Mr. Frimpong's teeth," Dr. Bowers said.
The bite mark evidence was displayed on a screen.
The expert said Mr. Randall's teeth, when the transparencies are superimposed on the photograph of the
victim's bruise, have a more consistent arch than that of Mr. Frimpong.
"I'm not saying Mr. Randall conclusively did this," Dr. Bowers said.
He said, in his opinion, he rules out Mr. Frimpong as the biter and that Mr. Randall could have left the
Deputy District Attorney Mary Barron cross-examined the witness.
In Ms. Barron's reply to the motion for a new trial, she states that her dental expert, Dr. Gregory Golden,
concludes that Mr. Randall can be excluded as the source of the bite marks and that Mr. Frimpong cannot be ruled out.
Ms. Barron asked Dr. Bowers if it caused him any concern that three other dental experts orient the dental bite
180 degrees the other way -- placing the upper teeth where Dr. Bowers places the lower.
"No, it did not," he answered.
In Ms. Barron's reply to the motion for a new trial, she contends Dr. Bowers transposed the upper and lower
dental arches by mistake.
Ms. Barron asked Dr. Bowers how many times he has testified as a dental expert in court.
He said he has testified 15-16 times over the course of nine years.
Ms. Barron said the dental expert she called at the trial has testified 100 times in court.
After the hearing, which continues today, the captain of the UCSB soccer team commented in support of Mr.
"After seeing the bite mark (evidence on the screen), it looked like Mr. Randall did it," said Alfonso
Montagalvan. "So we're all hoping (Mr. Frimpong) gets a retrial because he's like a brother to us."
The hearing continues this afternoon with cross-examination of Dr. Bowers in Dept. 2 of the Santa Barbara
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