Wednesday afternoon's testimony in the Jordan Johnson rape trial included emotional comments from Martin Todd Johnson, Jordan's father.

Defense attorney Kirsten Pabst asked the elder Johnson about his 30-year career as a teacher and coach in Oregon, where he taught and coached his son in high school. Johnson described his son as "quiet, respectful, humble" and that he is almost embarrassed by the praise heaped on him because of his achievements on the football field. Johnson explained how he first heard about the charges against his son. He said he received the news on his own mother's birthday, February 16.

Johnson struggled to fight back tears, and then said his son "had never been in trouble, had never hurt anyone in his life." During nearly all of Martin Johnson's testimony, his son Jordan was also in tears.

Johnson related that he had observed Jordan at age 15 with a girlfriend in high school, and that Jordan was always "respectful, courteous and kind" to her.

He told Pabst that, even though he described his son as "strong and resilient," the entire experience has had a "huge effect on him, huge." Johnson's father said he "has felt suffocated every day for the past 13 months," and that next to losing a child, he could not imagine a more difficult experience. He told Pabst that the entire ordeal has been tragic for both families.

Martin Johnson, father of Jordan Johnson

Pabst asked Johnson if his son knew that "no means no?" He answered emphatically, "yes."

Johnson told the jury his son is "an old-fashioned, honest, big-hearted young man who truly loves Missoula and The University of Montana."

Other testimony on Wednesday afternoon included that of Holly Anderson, a fellow pharmacy student with the alleged victim. Anderson told defense attorney David Paoli that she was reluctant to testify because she was concerned about how appearing on the stand might affect her career after school.

photo by Peter Christian

Paoli asked Anderson if she had ever directly observed the alleged victim get up and leave class in tears, or ever see her crying uncontrollably. She said she had not ever witnessed the victim in tears while in class or around the pharmacy building. In fact, Anderson said "she seemed fine." Earlier testimony indicated that the young woman had run out of class in tears several times, and experienced tearful episodes often at school. Anderson's testimony disputed those allegations.

Holly Anderson testimony

Last to testify was private investigator Mark Fullerton, who related his meetings with the alleged victim's roommates, and that the meetings were cordial and professional.

The defense has one more witness that will not be available until Thursday morning, so Judge Karen Townsend dismissed the jury at about 2:30 p.m. Court will begin again at 10 a.m. Thursday.