Jury clears NBA’s Rose in rape lawsuit
LOS ANGELES — Jurors cleared NBA star Derrick Rose and two friends Wednesday in a civil lawsuit that accused them of gang raping his ex-girlfriend when she was incapacitated from drugs or alcohol.
The jury reached the verdict in federal court after hearing different accounts of the August 2013 sexual encounter.
Rose, a point guard traded to the New York Knicks this year after spending seven seasons with the Chicago Bulls, said in a statement that it was important to prove he did not do what he was accused of, even though he had to share private details of his personal life.
“I am thankful that the jury understood and agreed with me,” his statement said. “This experience and my sensitivity to it was deep. I am ready to put this behind me and focus on my family and career.”
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 30-year-old 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 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, 28, was in court. “All three men were innocent from Day 1,” Rose’s attorney, Mark Baute, said. “We’re very happy that the system worked.”
The woman’s attorney, Waukeen McCoy, said he will explore appeal options.
The woman had sought $21.5 million when she filed suit.
Tribune news services does not generally name people who say they are victims of sex crimes.
NBA guard Derrick Rose said after the verdict: “I am ready to put this behind me and focus on my family and career.”