Attorney for Baseball Player Accused of Rape Seeks to Suppress Evidence

Eric Cordova’s attorney says his client was not read his Miranda rights prior to being questioned by law enforcement

By Justin Franz
Eric Cordova is led into Flathead County District Court on Thursday, June 18. Justin Franz | Flathead Beacon

The attorney for a baseball player accused of rape says statements obtained during an interview with police should be withheld as evidence because his client was not properly read his Miranda rights.

Eric Cordova’s attorney Brent Getty filed a motion to suppress the statements in Flathead County District Court on Dec. 2.

Cordova, 27, was arrested on May 25 and is charged with felony sexual intercourse without consent. He pleaded not guilty in June. Originally from Los Angeles, Cordova was a pitcher for the now defunct Glacier Outlaws, an independent league baseball team that was established this spring.

In his motion, Getty argues that Cordova’s rights were violated because he was subjected to an interrogation without proper Miranda warnings. Getty is now seeking to have the entire interview suppressed at trial.

According to Getty’s motion, a Flathead County Sheriff’s Office detective interviewed Cordova at the Flathead County Detention Center. The interview was recorded. After getting Cordova a glass of water, the detective started to make small talk and asked what brought the Los Angeles native to the area. The two talked about baseball for a few minutes before Cordova mentioned the charge against him. The detective said the charge “sounds pretty big” and asked if it “could be a game ender” for Cordova. The two men then briefly talked about the charge and Cordova’s lack of criminal history. The detective later said, “What I’d like to do with you this morning is talk to you about what happened last night and early morning. Before we get into that I do need to advise you of your rights,” according to court documents.

According to court records, Cordova was at a bar in downtown Whitefish with a friend on the night of May 24 when they met two women. After a few drinks, one of the women invited Cordova’s friend back to her home and all four people left the bar. At the home, the second woman went into her room, shut the door and went to sleep fully clothed. Court records state that she made it clear she was not interested in Cordova that night.

The woman woke up and her pants were pulled down and Cordova was having sex with her, according to court records. The woman slapped Cordova and began to scream she was being raped. The two other people were just outside the home and told police officers they heard her scream.

The woman called 911. When Flathead County sheriff’s deputies arrived at the home, Cordova was present, as well the woman and the two others. The woman was taken to the hospital where a forensic exam was administered. Cordova was taken to the Flathead County Detention Center where he allegedly acknowledged that he gotten into bed with the woman after she went to sleep.

Cordova pleaded not guilty in June. A pre-trial conference is being held on Dec. 16.

Cordova was dismissed from the Glacier Outlaws following his arrest. A few weeks later, the Whitefish baseball team folded amid the collapse of the Mount Rainier Professional Baseball League.