A federal jury in Los Angeles ruled Wednesday in favor of Derrick Rose and co-defendants Ryan Allen and Randall Hampton over allegations they raped one of the New York Knicks guard’s former partners in the summer of 2013.
The eight-member jury, which reportedly took less than four hours to reach its decision, cleared the three men of all charges related to the $21 million lawsuit.
In a statement provided to the Associated Press, Rose said he was “thankful that the jury understood and agreed with me.”
“This experience and my sensitivity to it was deep. I am ready to put this behind me and focus on my family and career,” he added.
The decision concludes the two-week civil court trial against Rose and his co-defendants, in which the accuser alleged that the three friends gang-raped her while she was intoxicated on the night of Aug. 27, 2013. The defense did not dispute that the three men had sex with the accuser that night, instead arguing that the woman was cognizant at the time and that the sex was consensual.
The accuser’s team faced an uphill battle in the case, as the jury was told merely determining the accuser had been intoxicated at the time of the incident was not enough to prove she couldn’t consent to sex. Rather, as sports law attorney Daniel Wallach explained in a series of tweets, the jury had to determine whether she was so intoxicated that she could not provide consent. The jury also was allowed to consider any prior sexual activity that they determined to be relevant.
The accuser waited more than two years to file a civil suit against Rose and his friends and report the incident to police, a delay that meant there was no physical evidence, such as a rape kit, to examine during the trial. She said she delayed reporting the incident because she was “embarrassed” by the situation and didn’t want to be the “reason” Rose went to prison, according to Mic.
The civil trial, initiated in August 2015, consequently had little in the way of physical evidence and focused instead on text messages exchanged by Rose and the accuser, as well as the testimony of the defendants, the accuser and her friends and co-workers.
The accuser’s attorney said in September that Rose didn’t even know how to define “consent” during his deposition. And during the trial, two sisters who lived with the accuser at the time said the accuser’s mood changed dramatically after the alleged incident, and one of her former co-workers said she had told him the day after the incident that she had been raped, according to The New York Times.
But others said differently. One of the accuser’s former friends, Gabriela Chavez, for example, testified that the accuser had told her she hadn’t been raped after the incident. She “lies about everything that comes out of her mouth,” Chavez said.
In the closing arguments on Tuesday, Rose’s lawyer argued that the accuser was playing into black stereotypes and only wanted money, while the plaintiff’s lawyer accused the defense of “slut-shaming” his client, according to Deadspin.
A separate criminal investigation into the accuser’s allegations has yet to result in charges against Rose and his co-defendants. Rose is expected to miss the remainder of the preseason but to be back with the Knicks for the team’s Oct. 25 season opener against the Cleveland Cavaliers.