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Derrick Rose cleared on all charges in civil rape trial

Former NBA MVP Derrick Rose arrives at court to face his accuser in an alleged gang-rape trial. (AP)

A Los Angeles jury ruled Wednesday that New York Knicks point guard Derrick Rose and his two friends should not be held liable on any charges in a high-stakes, hotly contested civil trial in which the three men were accused of drugging Rose’s ex-girlfriend, breaking into her apartment and gang-raping her while she was unconscious in August of 2013.



The plaintiff in the case — a 30-year-old woman identified in court documents as “Jane Doe,” who had a non-exclusive sexual relationship with Rose from late 2011 through July 2013 — had alleged that Rose and two friends, Ryan Allen and Randall Hampton, placed a drug in her drink during a party at Rose’s Beverly Hills rental home. She claimed to have taken a cab home, that she needed the cab’s driver to walk her to her front door, that she remembered throwing up and passing out in her bedroom with her clothes on, and not much else about the early hours of Aug. 27, 2013 — besides Rose, Hampton and Allen being in her apartment, Rose having sex with her, and then Hampton and Allen later having sex with her while Rose watched.

Attorneys for Rose, Allen and Hampton had acknowledged that their clients had sex with Doe on the night in question, but called the sex consensual. The defendants testified that the accuser had urged them to go to her house after the party, that she’d let them into her apartment herself, and that they took turns having consensual sex with the woman in her room. Their attorneys claimed that the accuser was trying to “shake down a highly respected and successful athlete.”

The jury reached its verdict after three hours and 45 minutes of deliberation on Wednesday, one day after hearing closing arguments in the case, which stretched for nearly two weeks. The six-woman, two-man panel had been charged with considering the separate allegations — trespassing, sexual battery, battery, conspiracy, gender violence and emotional distress — and reaching separate unanimous verdicts as to whether Rose, Allen and Hampton should be found liable on any of the claims. They cleared all three men on all counts.


It is not clear if these are the same two jurors who chose to take a cheerful photo with Rose after the verdict was read:


Or these two:


The plaintiff had been suing Rose for $21.5 million in damages. The “not liable” verdict means Rose doesn’t have to pay any money out to his accuser.

The judge in the trial jokingly wished Rose well after the verdict was read. Rose offered a statement, as well. From Julia Marsh for the New York Post:

“Best wishes,” Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald told Rose. “Except when the Knicks play the Lakers,” he joked.

In a statement, Rose said he’s “thankful” for the verdict, and eager to put the trial behind him.

“It was important to prove I did not do what I was accused of, even if it meant publicly sharing very private details about my personal life,” he 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.”

Doe’s attorneys said after the verdict that they’re “contemplating an appeal.” There are also several post-verdict motions they could file before that, as laid out by Daniel Werly of The White Bronco, though he cautions that such motions are “rarely granted.”

The Los Angeles Police Department still has an active criminal investigation open in the matter, though the “not liable” verdict could reduce the likelihood of criminal charges resulting from the case. LAPD Det. Nadine Hernandez, who had been working on the criminal case, was found dead in her home last week from a gunshot wound that is being investigated as a suicide. Investigators have said “there is no indication that her case work had any connection to her death,” according to Deadspin’s Diana Moskovitz.

With the trial that has kept him away from the bulk of Knicks training camp and preseason play now concluded, Rose is expected to rejoin his new team in time for next Tuesday’s regular-season opener against the Cleveland Cavaliers. He expressed his desire to get back to basketball before leaving the courthouse:


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Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don’t Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at devine@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter!

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