Judge won’t order mis­trial in Rose case

Lapses by ex-girl­friend’s lawyers not sig­nif­i­cant enough to end rape trial

Baltimore Sun - - SPORTS - By Brian Mel­ley

LOS AN­GE­LES — Lawyers for a woman ac­cus­ing NBA star Der­rick Rose and two of his friends of rape failed to dis­close text mes­sages to the de­fense, but the lapse was not sig­nif­i­cant enough to throw out the case or de­clare a mis­trial, a judge ruled Wednes­day.

Lawyers for Rose had ar­gued that the plain­tiff’s lawyers pur­posely with­held three texts un­til the woman was done tes­ti­fy­ing so that the de­fense couldn’t ques­tion her about mes­sages that showed the night in ques­tion had been planned for sex and that she was talk­ing the next day about be­ing re­im­bursed for cab fare and not ac­cus­ing any­one of rape.

U.S. District Court Judge Michael W. Fitzger­ald said the accuser’s le­gal team had failed in its le­gal obli­ga­tion to share the texts, but there was a “min­i­mal amount of prej­u­dice” against Rose and his friends. He said he would in­struct ju­rors that the texts were dis­closed re­cently and al­low de­fense lawyers to ques­tion the accuser about the mes­sages.

“I’m not go­ing to dis­miss it now,” Fitzger­ald said. “I’m not go­ing to de­clare a mis­trial when we have a jury in the box.”

The woman’s lawyers said the texts were shared with the de­fense, but they couldn’t prove it. They also ar­gued that the de­fense had other mes­sages show­ing the same thing.

The de­ci­sion came the day after Rose tes­ti­fied that he had a hunch the woman would claim the men raped her when he re­ceived a sus­pi­cious text later the same day.

The texts de­scribed burns the woman claimed she got on her hands from a fire pit out­side his Bev­erly Hills, Calif., house and said she had been “wasted” the night be­fore. Rose said he never wit­nessed any burns the night be­fore and that she seemed sober.

“It looked like a setup,” the New York Knicks point guard said. “It turned out to be what I thought.”

The 30-year-old woman filed the $21.5 mil­lion law­suit two years after the Au­gust 2013 in­ci­dent, claim­ing Rose and his friends raped her at her apart­ment while she was in­ca­pac­i­tated from drink­ing and, pos­si­bly, drugs.

The As­so­ci­ated Press is not nam­ing the woman be­cause it gen­er­ally does not iden­tify peo­ple who say they are vic­tims of sex­ual as­sault.

Rose tes­ti­fied that he was raised by a sin­gle mother, who was his men­tor and had taught him to re­spect women.

When at­tor­ney Wau­keen McCoy be­gan to ask Rose a ques­tion by say­ing that since his mother had taught him man­ners, Rose snapped back in a rare dis­play of emo­tion dur­ing an oth­er­wise un­flap­pable mat­terof-fact tes­ti­mony.

“Was that a joke?” he said. “Don’t be play­ing on my mom like that, bro.”

The cen­tral is­sue in the trial is con­sent, and a lawyer for the woman spent much of The New York Knicks’ Der­rick Rose ar­rives at fed­eral court in Los An­ge­les on Wednes­day for his trial on charges that he and two friends raped an ex-girl­friend. his time try­ing to show that she never agreed to have sex with Rose in the early morn­ing hours of Aug. 27, 2013, not to men­tion his two friends.

At­tor­neys for the woman showed video taken of Rose in June tes­ti­fy­ing at his de­po­si­tion in which he said he didn’t un­der­stand the word con­sent.

When asked by his own lawyer, he said he was ner­vous at the de­po­si­tion and he de­fined con­sent as both par­ties be­ing in agree­ment. He said the woman had con­sented all the pre­vi­ous times they had sex over an 18- to 20-month pe­riod.

Although they had split up a cou­ple months be­fore, he said he as­sumed con­sent based on their past and a text mes­sage she sent out of the blue that morn­ing say­ing he made her “horny.”

“No is no. I’m never go­ing to force my­self upon any­one,” Rose said. “When she sent me texts like that, 99 per­cent of the time it ended up in sex, so what do you ex­pect?”

Ran­dall Hamp­ton, Rose’s per­sonal as­sis­tant and co-de­fen­dant, was called to the stand by the woman’s lawyer to show in­con­sis­ten­cies and con­tra­dic­tions in their tes­ti­mony.

Hamp­ton said his boss has a poor mem­ory and pro­vided a con­flict­ing ac­count about the evening at Rose’s house.

Hamp­ton said the woman had sex with him and Rose at the Bev­erly Hills house hours be­fore they went over to her apart­ment. Rose tes­ti­fied that the woman ini­ti­ated try­ing to have oral sex with him while she was hav­ing sex with Hamp­ton.

Hamp­ton, how­ever, said Rose ini­ti­ated that act and then later had sex with the woman on a bed at a pool­side ca­bana.

“He has a hard time re­mem­ber­ing things,” Hamp­ton said of Rose, who he said is like a brother to him.

When asked whether he was con­cerned about hav­ing sex with Rose’s ex-girl­friend, Hamp­ton said he never saw her as a girl­friend of Rose’s even though he booked trips for her to visit Rose in Chicago and Philadel­phia.

“To have sex,” Hamp­ton said, “that’s what I was book­ing the flights for.”

NICK UT/AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

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