A jury in Lancaster County, Nebraska, found former Nebraska football player Katerian LeGrone not guilty of sexually assaulting a female student in 2019 after about a week of testimony.
LeGrone, 21, and his former teammate Andre Hunt have been charged with first-degree sexual assault after a woman reported an alleged incident on August 25, 2019 to the Lincoln Police Department.
Both were suspended indefinitely from the national football team the next day, and have not been on the list since that December. Nebraska officials investigating a woman’s complaint of violence IX over violence IX found two men responsible for the attack on her, and the university expelled them in April 2020. Both men are still active on the NCAA broadcast portal.
The woman told jurors she accepted Hunt’s invitation to come to his apartment, which he shared with LeGrone, for socializing. She said Hunt took her to the bedroom as soon as she arrived and initiated sex, which she said in court she did not want. She also said that she did not physically or verbally resist because she felt pressured and scared.
She said she noticed another man, LeGrone, entering the room, but Hunt put blankets around her head and kept her head down so she couldn’t see LeGrone. She said that while Hunt had sex with her while she was facing him, he swapped places with LeGrone, who then started having sex with her, to which she did not agree.
During testimony Friday, LeGrone defense attorney, Mallory Hughes, asked the woman why she did not physically or verbally resist sex after realizing that LeGrone had swapped places.
“You allowed Mr. LeGrone to have sex with you for 15 minutes, isn’t that true?” Hughes said.
The woman said, “He raped me for 15 minutes.”
“Tell me every thing you did to stop having sex with you during those 15 minutes,” Hughes asked. The woman replied, “I prayed.”
Hughes said in closing remarks, “You can’t assume he should have known he didn’t want to have sex. She saw him. He started having sex with her, and she didn’t do anything about it. The law doesn’t require this young man to give her reads thoughts. “
“Our law says that women are obliged to offer resistance,” Hughes added. “When they see someone approaching them, they have to say ‘stop, get out.'”
The two men initially told police LeGrone did not have sex with the woman, according to testimony. The jury watched a video in which LeGrone apologized to a police officer for initially lying that he had not had sex with a woman, saying he was afraid of the charge. He then told the policeman that he had, but only after she said it was okay for him to join.
But Hunt told jurors he had not heard of such an exchange between LeGrone and the woman. Hunt agreed to be a prosecutor’s witness in exchange for having his sexual abuse offense reduced to two misdemeanors for adhering to an attempted false prison and false information, according to the testimony. LeGrone did not testify during the trial.
The jury also heard from another student who said that in August 2018, LeGrone entered a room where she had consensual sex with another football player and started having sex with her without her consent. She said she was shocked and surprised to notice that LeGrone was having sex with her. She said she stopped the activity, saying, “I don’t know what you thought this was,” and left. She would eventually report the incident to university investigators and police, but told jurors she did not want LeGrone prosecuted for what happened to her.
Hughes, LeGrone’s lawyer, asked another woman that part of the Title IX lawsuit against the university was “for money”. The lawsuit concerns how the university dealt with a woman’s report on the alleged 2018 attack, as well as another incident that she reported, along with former Nebraska volleyball player Capri Davis, that LeGrone and Hunt allegedly touched them at a party in March 2019. years.
Hughes questioned a woman who reported an alleged sexual assault in August 2019 about her plans to sue the university for financial gain, even though that woman has not yet filed a lawsuit and is not part of a Title IX lawsuit filed by other women.
In his interrogation, Hughes repeatedly posted and displayed posts on social media and messages the woman sent to her friends while she was at Hunt’s apartment that night and later. Hughes described these messages as humorous or light-hearted and inconsistent with the traumatizing attack. In his introductory remarks, Hughes said the woman planned to use the sexual encounter with Hunt and LeGrone as a means of revenge on her ex-boyfriend, whom she later contacted.