Update by Michael Roberts: Many observers felt confident that former Denver Broncos defender Perrish Cox would be found guilty of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman last year. After all, DNA evidence showed that he had impregnated her. But moments ago, a jury acquitted Cox of the charges -- a decision that reportedly left his accuser in tears. Look below for previous coverage by our Kyle Garratt.
Original post, 3:47 p.m. March 1: After a surprisingly short trial that started on Monday, a Douglas County District Court jury is now deliberating in the sexual assault trial of former Bronco Perrish Cox. This morning, Cox declined to testify against charges that he raped a passed-out woman in his Lone Tree apartment over Labor Day weekend in 2010. The defense rested its case this morning after Cox's lawyer, Harvey Steinberg, called only one witness, a Lone Tree detective, to the stand.
Cox faces two felony charges: sexual assault on a helpless victim and sexual assault on a victim incapable of appraising her condition. If convicted, he could spend two years to life in prison.
The alleged victim testified on Tuesday and Wednesday and admitted to having a fuzzy recollection of the events late on September 5 and early September 6. She allegedly went out partying at a club with Carthy Che, a friend who was dating Cox at the time, as well as Cox and Broncos receiver Demaryius Thomas.
The alleged victim claims to have had four drinks and believes she was drugged because she passed out and has no recollection of the alleged rape that left her pregnant. DNA evidence later determined Cox was the father of the woman's child. She terminated the pregnancy.
Earlier this morning, prosecutors played a videotaped interview between Cox and detectives in which Cox expressed surprise that the alleged victim was pregnant and denied touching her.
According to reports, the video shows Lone Tree Police Department Detective Steve Hipp informing Cox that his DNA indicates he impregnated the woman. Cox then sat back and said, "Are you serious?"
"I never raped nobody," Cox told the detective. "I'm losing it because, seriously, I never touched this girl."
Cox then asked: "I'm going to jail? You're kidding me. What am I supposed to do? I didn't."
Detective Hipp reportedly testified that he took Cox to a holding cell, where Cox later asked him, "What if she jumped on me when I was passed out?"
Yesterday, Thomas took the stand for the prosecution and testified that Cox carried the passed-out woman to a bedroom and then told Thomas, "I think she's ready," implying Thomas should have sex with the alleged victim.
Thomas reportedly testified that he replied, "Nah, I don't think so."
Thomas and the alleged victim testified that they kissed on an inflatable mattress, and the alleged victim says it was the last thing she remembers before passing out. Thomas said he left Cox's apartment at 4:30 a.m.
The alleged victim said she woke up back on the inflatable mattress and according to the arrest affidavit, she felt as if she'd had sex. She testified that she visited a hospital the Tuesday following the Labor Day weekend, but when hospital staffers informed her that they had called the police, she panicked and left in a hurry.
She testified that since she had no evidence she'd been sexually assaulted, she worried about falsely accusing someone. She was later introduced to DNA evidence indicating Cox impregnated her.
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Prosecutor Chris Gallo reportedly emphasized in his closing argument the damning DNA evidence and the alleged victim's inability to provide consent. Steinberg reportedly tried to convince the jury that no one involved in the incident was a credible witness and just because the alleged victim couldn't remember having sex, it doesn't mean she was raped.
The jury's findings must be unanimous.