Ex-Baseball Player Gets Deferred Sentence After Being Accused of Rape

Former Glacier Outlaws player pleaded guilty to criminal endangerment in June

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

The baseball player accused of raping a woman in Whitefish last year was given a six-year deferred sentenced on Aug. 11 in Flathead County District Court.

Eric Cordova appeared before Judge Robert Allison two months after he pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of felony criminal endangerment.

Cordova, 28, had initially been charged with felony sexual intercourse without consent following a May 2015 incident in Whitefish. Days before he was expected to go to trial earlier this year, prosecutors and the defense finalized a plea agreement with the lesser charge of criminal endangerment.

During the Aug. 11 hearing, Public Defender Brent Getty said his client admitted that he had drank too much on the night of May 24, 2015 and that he had gotten into bed with the victim without her permission. The details of what happened after that are vague, Getty said.

“After those acts, the case is murky for both sides as to whether there is evidence of a sexual assault and that’s where this plea agreement comes from,” Getty said.

Deputy County Attorney Alison Howard told the court that the victim in the case agreed with the six-year deferred sentence.

Cordova came to Whitefish last year to play baseball for the now-defunct Glacier Outlaws, an upstart team in the Mount Rainier Professional Baseball League.

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 the bars closed, 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. Court records state that she made it clear she was not interested in Cordova that night.

Later the woman woke up and found that Cordova had gotten into bed with her, according to court documents and testimony. The woman slapped Cordova and began to scream that 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 had gotten into bed with the woman after she went to sleep.

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