OSU basketball player convicted of rape
Darrell Williams, an Oklahoma State University basketball player, wept as a jury announced his verdict on Monday, convicting him of sexual battery and rape by instrumentation. Williams turned to the jury and yelled, “I didn’t do it.” The 22-year-old suspended basketball player was charged with four counts of rape by instrumentation, but was acquitted on two of those counts. Jurors, who deliberated for nearly eight hours, recommended Williams be sentenced to a year in prison for each of the rape counts. His formal sentencing is set for August 24.
Williams was accused of sexually assaulting two women at a house party in December 2010. Payne County prosecutors said he groped the women and reached inside their pants without their consent, but with little physical evidence to strengthen their case, Assistant District Attorney Jill Tontz had to rely on testimony from the two women. “‘No’ means just that: It means ‘no,’” Tontz said during closing arguments on Monday. “These girls felt dehumanized, embarrassed.” Defense Attorney Cheryl Ramsey referred to the case as a “he said, she said situation” during her closing arguments. Witnesses testified on Williams behalf and said that several players at the party wore similar Oklahoma State warm-up suits, and his attorneys claimed that could have led to a misidentification. OSU basketball coach Travis Ford testified and said he believed the 22-year-old was innocent. Williams, who was suspended from the team in February 2011, led the team in rebounding and averaged 7.1 points per game.