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Jury reaches verdict in former Bronco’s trial
The six-man, six-woman jury met for about four hours Thursday and resumed deliberations Friday morning before assembling in the courtroom for the reading of the verdict.
Prosecutors say the evidence is straightforward: The alleged victim tells authorities she doesn’t remember having sex the night she spent at Cox’s apartment, but she became pregnant and DNA indicates Cox is the father.
Cox’s defense attorney told jurors the alleged victim and another woman who had gone to Cox’s apartment are “party girls,” they were drinking, and they don’t remember many parts of that night, including possibly having sex with each other or with Cox.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.
Deliberations resumed Friday in the sexual assault trial of former Denver Broncos cornerback Perrish Cox, after testimony ended with jurors watching a video of him expressing shock that the alleged victim was pregnant and that he was accused of raping her.
Cox is charged with sexually assaulting the woman in his apartment over Labor Day weekend 2010. Both the prosecution and defense rested their cases Thursday morning, and the jury deliberated for about four hours before leaving for the day, after closing arguments concluded early in the afternoon. They were back in session Friday morning.
In the portion of a videotaped interview that detectives did with Cox the night he was arrested, Lone Tree Police Department Detective Steve Hipp informs Cox that his DNA indicates he impregnated the woman. Cox then sits back and says, “Are you serious?”
“I never raped nobody,” Cox told the detective as both spoke in loud voices. “I’m losing it because, seriously, I never touched this girl.”
The interview ends with Cox asking: “I’m going to jail? You’re kidding me. What am I supposed to do? I didn’t.”
Cox was arrested after the alleged victim realized she was pregnant and contacted police.
Prosecutor Chris Gallo says Cox’s statement shows what state of mind he was in. Gallo told jurors that Cox expected to have sex with Che, who testified she was sick. And there was the alleged victim, lying on his bed and “ready.”
Cox is charged with one count of sexual assault while the victim was physically helpless and one count of sexual assault while the victim was incapable of determining the nature of the conduct. He faces two years to life in prison if convicted. He did not testify.
The Associated Press is not naming the woman because she is the alleged victim of a sex crime.
The woman suspected something was wrong the following Monday and went to the hospital, but left after staff there called police. She said she didn’t want to falsely accuse somebody when she didn’t know for sure whether she had been sexually assaulted. She contacted police about seven weeks later when she discovered she was pregnant.
She thought Thomas had sexually assaulted her because the two had been kissing earlier. Thomas and Bronco player Cassius Vaughn, Cox’s roommate who was asleep at the time, were ruled out through DNA tests. Gallo said a DNA test proves Cox had sex with the woman without her knowing it.
“He can’t escape it. He can’t escape the science,” Gallo said. “Whether her judgment should have been better, it is what it is.”
But defense attorney Harvey Steinberg, during the cross-examination of witnesses, tried to paint a picture of drunkenness, and of the women being able to interact with people without remembering. The alleged victim said she thought she had been drugged, but prosecutors said they didn’t have to prove that.
Steinberg slammed the prosecutors during closing arguments for failing to call Vaughn, the only other person at the apartment around the time of the assault, to the witness stand. Vaughn told Thomas that there was some “girl on girl action” between the woman and Che. Thomas testified that a text sent the alleged victim asking whether she remembered what happened the night before, which the alleged victim told police was suspicious, was about what Vaughn had told him.
“Let’s just call this what it is. These were a couple of party girls,” Steinberg said in his closing argument. “What did (the alleged victim) herself do?”
In a rebuttal, prosecutor Bob Chappell told the jury: “You just heard why, the reason women are reluctant to report rape.”
Thomas caught an 80-yard touchdown pass in overtime to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers in a first-round playoff game in January.
Cox was cut in September by the team, which cited his performance in training camp, not the pending charges as the reason.
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