A jury has cleared NBA star Derrick Rose and two friends of accusations of sexually assaulting a woman in a 2013 incident. After less than four hours of deliberations, the jury of six women and two men hearing the $21.5 million civil trial sided with Rose’s contention that his accuser had willingly participated in consensual sex acts with the group of men.
Rose, 28, who began the current season with the New York Knicks after being traded from the Chicago Bulls in June, was accused along with co-defendants Ryan Allen and Randall Hampton of breaking into the woman’s apartment, while she was intoxicated from a night out drinking, then drugged before they took advantage of her.
However, Rose maintained that she actively sought to have sex with them, even sending him text messages inviting the men to her apartment. Rose and the woman, whose name has been withheld, had an open relationship, but it broke off some time before the alleged rape took place.
The woman told jurors that she was in and out of consciousness on the night in question while at a Beverly Hills house being rented by Rose. She said she suspected that a drug had been put in one of her drinks. She later took a taxi to her own apartment, but woke up later to find the three men in her apartment and described them assaulting her.
But Rose’s defense disputed that claim, saying she was completely sober and cognizant of what she was doing as she took the men into her bedroom one by one. He balked at her claims saying she was trying to extort money from him.
Two years after the incident, the woman reported her claim to Los Angeles police, who are continuing to investigate the case, although one of the lead detectives in the criminal investigation was found dead last week in an apparent suicide. Rose has not been criminally charged.
The woman’s lawyers called Rose and his friends “sexual deviants” who were trying to “slut shame” the plaintiff. In turn, the defense argued that the woman was trying to get money from Rose because he broke up with her by text message. The jurors in a federal court in Los Angeles heard radically different versions of the story, but without enough physical evidence of what was described, they were ultimately unconvinced of Rose’s liability.
In a statement to the Associated Press, Rose said: “I am 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.”