OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A former Oklahoma State basketball player accused of sexually assaulting two women at an off-campus party in 2010 will not be retried after an appeals court tossed out his conviction, prosecutors said Monday.
A jury found Darrell Williams guilty of two counts of rape by instrumentation and one count of sexual battery in July 2012, but the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals threw out the verdict earlier this year. The court said testimony of jurors at a special hearing last year suggested that at least two made unauthorized visits to the crime scene, and that those visits were discussed during deliberations.
The two women want to move on with their lives after college and don't want to testify again, Payne County District Attorney Tom Lee said Monday. Williams' conviction did not include any jail time, but he was required to register as a sex offender.
Williams' trial attorney, Cheryl Ramsey, said she was not surprised prosecutors decided not to retry the case. "I thought that would be their conclusion because of the eye-witness issue was not good and because the mental health issues that were not provided to us at discovery," she said.
Two women testified at trial that Williams groped them against their will at the party. One said Williams held her against her will and dragged her in a yard. She said the attack happened in the basement of the house and that no one came to her aid.
There was no physical evidence in the case, and Williams' attorneys noted that no one heard anyone scream, saw any struggles or reported anything inappropriate. The women testified that they identified Williams after police showed them a photo of the team. His attorneys argued that he was misidentified by the women as their attacker, calling witnesses who testified that several players at the party wore similar Oklahoma State warm-up suits.
Williams is black, while the women are white. Williams' family contended he was a victim of racial profiling by a mostly white jury picked from a largely white jury pool. The Rev. Jesse Jackson was among the attendees at a 2012 rally on Williams' behalf in Stillwater, home to the university and about 70 miles north of Oklahoma City.
One of the women told The Associated Press in August 2012 that it was ignorant for people to think the issue was about race. "It's not about race; it's about rape. He raped two girls," she said. Williams was suspended from the team in February 2011 and later returned to his hometown of Chicago. While on the team he averaged 7.1 points per game and 7.3 rebounds.
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