LOS ANGELES (CBSLA/AP) — Jurors cleared NBA star Derrick Rose and two friends in a lawsuit that accused them of gang raping his ex-girlfriend while she was passed out.
The jury reached the verdict Wednesday in Los Angeles federal court after hearing dramatically different accounts of the August 2013 sexual encounter.
A 30-year-old ex-girlfriend of Rose, 28, filed the lawsuit seeking $21.5 million in damages, claiming Rose and his friends conspired to sexually assault her as she lay incapacitated.
Neither side denied the three men had sex with the woman, but the issue was whether she consented or was too intoxicated to do so.
Defense lawyers tarred the woman as a liar who tried to sway jurors through her tears to get at Rose’s fortune. They claimed she was angry he had dumped her and she set him up and brought the lawsuit in hopes of a big payoff.
The woman’s lawyer called the men “sexual deviants” and says they conspired to gang rape her after she was drunk and incapable of consenting to sex.
Rose told CBS2’s Cristy Fajardo the jury’s verdict was a “relief”.
After the verdicts were read, Rose and his co-defendants embraced their attorneys. The plaintiff turned away and left the courthouse without comment.
U.S. District Judge Michael Fitzgerald, who presided over the often sordid 10-day trial, wished both sides well, offering Rose luck following his trade earlier this year from the Chicago Bulls to the New York Knicks “except when you play the Lakers.”
Although the lawsuit – which alleged trespassing, sexual battery and battery – is resolved, the Los Angeles Police Department is still conducting a criminal investigation into the woman’s allegations.
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