A California federal jury Wednesday sided with NBA star Derrick Rose and his two friends in a civil rape case brought by a Los Angeles woman who alleged the trio entered her apartment without permission and sexually assaulted her in 2013, finding she hadn’t proven her allegations. The eight-member jury deliberated for less than four hours before reaching its verdict, following a two-week trial. As it was read, Rose received hugs and handshakes from his attorneys. The plaintiff looked down, head in hands, as the men were cleared.
The plaintiff, who dated Rose from 2011 to 2013, accused the pro basketball player and his childhood friends Randall Hampton and Ryan Allen of drugging her back in August 2013 at a small gathering at his rented Beverly Hills home and raping her hours later at her apartment while she drifted in and out of consciousness. Although identified in court, the plaintiff sued the former Chicago Bull and league MVP pseudonymously as Jane Doe.
Although the woman previously told the court she was seeking $21.5 million in damages, her attorney told the jury Tuesday during closing statements that he wanted the jury to determine the amount due to his client for her economic loss and emotional distress. At Rose’s request, the trial was bifurcated into two phases, with punitive damages to be determined during a second phase of the trial if liability was determined along with a jury decision the defendants acted with “malice, oppression or fraud.”
The stakes were high for Rose. During closing arguments, Baute told the jury that a verdict against the NBA player could cost the 28-year-old his Knicks contract and an endorsement deal with Adidas. Rose also supports numerous members of his family, Baute said.
The verdict capped a dramatic two-week trial brimming with lurid details including racy and profane text messages shared between Rose and the woman during their relationship and in the hours leading up to the alleged incident.
The jury was asked to answer questions regarding claims of sexual battery, battery, and trespass against all three men. After closing arguments Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Michael Fitzgerald explained to the jury that although the term “rape” was used during the trial, the “technical definition” refers to a criminal charge.
He also defined “consent,” saying the plaintiff could have expressed permission to the sex with the defendants by “words or acts that were reasonably understood” by the defendants as consent.