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Knicks’ Derrick Rose, two friends cleared in civil rape lawsuit

Oct. 27, 2015 - Chicago, IL, USA - The Chicago Bulls' Derrick Rose wears his protective mask while blowing on his hands before warming up for the season opener against the Cleveland Cavaliers at the United Center in Chicago on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2015. (Photo by Chicago Tribune/Zuma Press/Icon Sportswire)
Chicago Tribune/Zuma Press/Icon Sportswire

According to Jon Greenberg of The Athletic, New York Knicks’ point guard Derrick Rose and two other men have been cleared of sexual assault charges.

The accuser, an ex-girlfriend, claimed that the three men drugged and raped her one night in the summer 2013. She was seeking upwards of $21 million in damages, but a jury ruled on Wednesday that the three men are not liable for the act. ESPN legal analyst Adrienne Lawrence also tweeted that the verdict in the civil case makes it “highly unlikely” that criminal charges will ever be filed.

The jury, consisting of six women and two men, reportedly deliberated for about six hours before handing down the verdict. The accuser reported the alleged incident to the police about two years after it was said to have taken place, and Los Angeles police are continuing to investigate. Considering there was no physical evidence to be considered, the jury had to make a decision largely based off of credibility from either side.

With the trial taking place in Los Angeles, Rose has been away from the Knicks since October 11. Head coach Jeff Hornacek said earlier on Wednesday that Rose will not play in either of New York’s final two preseason games, though he does expect the player to return to the club by Friday. Rose played in the Knicks’ first preseason game against the Houston Rockets, scoring 16 points to go along with five assists in 25 minutes of action.

Rose and the Knicks will start the regular season next Tuesday against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

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