Former University of Washington point guard Venoy Overton was scheduled to go to trial earlier this week in Kent on charges that he pimped out his 18-year-old girlfriend last summer. But now Overton's trial has been re-scheduled for April, after his alma mater's season will have ended.
Overton allegedly schooled her on the going rates for particular sex acts, told her to get cash from her johns up front, instructed her to "walk slow and sexy," and promised to "take care of her once he made it to the NBA." Based on her statements and other damning evidence -- including Overton's own alleged admissions to police that he transported the girl to and from the Chevron, and took a cut of her earnings at the night's end -- prosecutors charged the 24-year-old UW grad on June 17 with second-degree promoting prostitution, a class C felony.
Overton's trial was initially scheduled to commence January 23, but the date was pushed back to April 2 after his attorney, Seattle/King County NAACAP president James Bible, requested and received a continuance. Bible did not respond to a request for comment on the rescheduling, but the observant courts correspondent for The Maple Valley Reporter notes that court documents filed January 6 list the reason for the delay as "further investigation and negotiation."
If convicted, Overton faces up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges, but the "further investigation and negotiation" clue could indicate that a plea bargain is in the offing. Overton is currently free on bail.
The timing of the rescheduled trial is a fortunate coincidence for the UW hoops squad. The team is currently tied for second place in the Pac-12 (they face Arizona State later this evening in Tempe), but an ongoing off-court distraction -- such as the one that occurred last year during Overton's senior season, when he was accused of rape after hosting an "orgy party" involving underage girls at an off-campus apartment -- had the potential to derail their title hopes.
The Pac-12 conference tournament is scheduled for the second week of March, well before Overton is due back in court, but if UW were to somehow make a run in the NCAA tournament, the national championship game would be played April 2 -- the same day as Overton's trial.
As a result of the "orgy party," Overton was charged in Seattle Municipal Court with furnishing alcohol to a minor. He was granted "dispositional continuance," meaning the misdemeanor charge against him would have been dropped had he completed 24 hours of community service, and not been charged with another crime. The penalty for violating this agreement with the court will not be established until after his trial in King County, according to the Seattle City Attorney's Office.