Oklahoma State player gets his rape conviction overturned
Reported By Liku Zelleke
In 2010, former Oklahoma State player Darrell Williams had been accused, and then convicted, of sexually assaulting two women at an off-campus party.
He was convicted on two accounts of rape by instrumentation and one count of sexual battery. Although he was not sentenced to any jail time he was ordered to register as a sex offender.
On Tuesday, 22nd of April 2014, an Oklahoma court overturned the conviction.
In a 10-page decision that was released on the same day, the Court of Criminal Appeals said that testimonies from jurors at a special hearing held last year indicated that at least two jurors had made unauthorized visits to the crime scene and that the visits had been discussed during deliberations.
During the trial two women testified that Williams had groped them against their will while they were at the party. One of them had said that Williams had held her against her will and dragged her in a yard and that the attack happened in the basement of the house and that no one came to help her.
They also testified that they identified him after they were shown photos of the team.
Williams’ attorneys on the other hand argued that the whole affair was a case of mistaken identity. They said that the women only identified him as their attacker after a police lineup of the Oklahoma State basketball team and that as several team members wore Oklahoma State warm-suits he could have easily been misidentified.
They also said that no one at the party heard any screams, saw any struggles or even reported anything out of the ordinary, and that the women hadn’t suffered any cuts or scratches and no clothing was torn after the alleged assault.
Although Williams’ conviction has been overturned it still isn’t clear what will be done about his being registered as a sex offender or even what the ruling will mean for his status.
So far, Williams couldn’t be reached for comments.
His aunt, Mildred Williams, said that the family might issue a statement soon after consulting with lawyers.
In a phone interview, she said, “We’ve been crying, shouting. It’s good news. It’s great news!”
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