No Verdict in Perrish Cox Sexual Assault Trial

Update: The jury has retired for the evening without a verdict and will resume deliberations tomorrow.

Update: Review of closing arguments here.

A reporter takes this photo around 3:30 pm of a worried Cox in the cafeteria waiting on the verdict.

Closing arguments are underway in the sexual assault trial of former Denver Cornerback Perrish Cox.

Cox did not testify. The defense called one witness and rested. [More...]

The accuser has no memory of being assaulted and only reported the assault to police after she discovered she was pregnant. She suspects she was drugged because she only had four drinks that night. She does remember kissing another Bronco present at the party, wide receiver Demaryius Thomas. Thomas' trial testimony was different than earlier statements he provided.

DNA tests were performed on the fetus (she later terminated the pregnancy) which concluded Perrish Cox was the father. He denied having sex with her. Cox's girlfriend was also present that night.

At trial, the defense attacked the DNA evidence and the differing versions of the witnesses.

Cox faces up to a life sentence if convicted.

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    Not guilty. (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 01:30:28 PM EST

    Most of the comments... (none / 0) (#1)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Thu Mar 01, 2012 at 01:49:17 PM EST
    I've read on FB and the local paper of record have been pretty disgusting.  Variants of the tired "she was asking for it/football groupie out to score a buck" crap.  

    most I've seen on Twitter (none / 0) (#2)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Mar 01, 2012 at 04:43:40 PM EST
    are calling for him to get life. And probably none of those commenting on any of the sites bothered to attend the trial and actually hear the evidence.

    The DNA evidence may be too compelling for the jury. Since the defense didn't call its own expert to refute the results, it is likely they couldn't find one. Instead it focused on improper handling of the evidence to raise a reasonable doubt about the results. And that the lab tech "had never performed a paternity test using a choreonic villous sample, a biopsy of the placenta that helps identify genetic markers from the father and mother."

    I wonder if the woman had reported her suspicions when she went to the hospital the next day instead of leaving to avoid police, whether they could have tested for a date-rape drug in her system.

    She said she went to a hospital the next day, but left before police could arrive and collect evidence because she didn't want to falsely accuse anybody when she wasn't sure something happened. She contacted police on Oct. 28, 2010, after learning she was pregnant.

    The tape the prosecutors played this morning from his  interview the night of his arrest seems to strengthen the defense case rather than its own.

    In the portion of a videotaped interview that detectives did with Cox the night he was arrested, Lone Tree Police Department Det. Steve Hipp informs Cox that his DNA indicates he impregnated the woman. Cox then sits back and says, "Are you serious?"

    "I never raped nobody," Cox told the detective as both talked loudly. "I'm losing it because, seriously, I never touched this girl."

    The interview ends with Cox asking: "I'm going to jail? You're kidding me. What am I supposed to do? I didn't."

    Harvey is a terrific trial lawyer and I won't be surprised if he convinces the jury there is reasonable doubt. Given the DNA evidence, it would be quite a feat.


    Your "leaving to avoid police" (5.00 / 3) (#3)
    by Lacy on Thu Mar 01, 2012 at 05:01:01 PM EST
     comment is rather deceptive reporting of that article, since at the time she did not even know what happened and appears to have genuinely not wanted to create a problem for someone else over her suspicions.

    And it would have added to the context had you included the trial quote from Cox's teammate in that article:
    "Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas also testified Wednesday, describing how Cox carried the sleeping woman into his bedroom and told Thomas: "She's ready."  


    No that's exactly what (none / 0) (#6)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Mar 01, 2012 at 06:03:48 PM EST
    the news has reported. To name a few:


    She said she went to a hospital the next day, but left before police could arrive and collect evidence because she didn't want to falsely accuse anybody when she wasn't sure something happened.


    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.

    The statement you refer to was contradictory to the witness' earlier statements to police. Both the prosecutor and defense at trial say they had never heard him say that before. The judge refused to grant a mistrial over it since the Prosecutor had never heard it and thus couldn't be at fault for not turning it over. The statement is very suspect, which is why I left it out.

    Also, the witness contradicted himself in other ways:

    Thomas seemed to change his story about the night at Cox's apartment, previously telling law enforcement that he had fooled around with the alleged victim at Cox's apartment but stopped when she passed out.

    He testified Wednesday that the woman wasn't all that drunk and had "fallen asleep" after the two watched television after they kissed on an inflatable bed in the living room.

    So (none / 0) (#7)
    by Lacy on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 08:01:03 AM EST
    in other words, you agree that there was another side to the story that you chose not to include.

    not at all (none / 0) (#11)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 02:01:33 PM EST
    I wasn't recounting the trial evidence in my comment, I was wondering whether she might have had evidence to support her accusation had she not left the hospital the next day and undergone testing for a date rape drug.

    You brought up the new statement which has no bearing on anything. Thomas did not accuse Cox, he said he left and didn't know what happened. He didn't present another side to the story.

    Since Cox has been acquitted, the jury didn't find it significant either.

    To answer my own question, the hospital told the accuser it was already too late to test for the date-rape drug (according to what she told the cops in the arrest warrant.)


    I don't get it (none / 0) (#5)
    by jharp on Thu Mar 01, 2012 at 06:03:10 PM EST
    I don't get it. At all.

    Couldn't Cox just as easily claimed he didn't remember anything that night and thinks he was drugged. And the only explanation for his DNA present was he had to have been raped by her?

    And forgive me if this is ridiculous. I am not a lawyer. And I am often pretty stupid.

    perjury (none / 0) (#8)
    by diogenes on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 11:23:02 AM EST
    Sure he can claim it under oath.  However, if the prosecution can prove that he lied then he will go to prison for perjury (whether or not he were ever convicted of raping the woman himself).  He could be acquitted of rape and convicted of perjury at the same time!  I don't think that he'd want to try that gambit.

    he didn't testify (none / 0) (#13)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 02:06:38 PM EST
    perjury is not an issue. Making a false statement to a police officer is not perjury. Different crime.

    as his lawyer pointed out (none / 0) (#12)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 02:05:44 PM EST
    even if the DNA test was valid, which he disputed, his being the father doesn't mean a rape occurred. It just means sex happened. She said she doesn't remember what happened so she couldn't say he raped her.

    Really? (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Lacy on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 05:12:43 PM EST
    My understanding is that having sex with an unconscious or unknowing person has been defined pretty much everywhere as unlawful sexual penetration, and any such victim is not expected to be able to say "He raped me".

    enough already (none / 0) (#15)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Mar 03, 2012 at 12:52:30 PM EST
    it was not proven she was unconscious or unknowing or that she had ingested a date rape drug.

    She said she believed she was drugged because she remembers so little about what happened. His lawyer pointed out she was able to walk up stairs, chat with the others and she didn't remember that either. The arrest report contains her statements about very specific activities she engaged in with Thomas.

    Prosecutors introduced no evidence she had been drugged. They said it was not necessary to prove their case.

    You are blog-clogging and chattering now, you've made your point several times, please move on.


    so while defense lawyers (none / 0) (#16)
    by TheRefugee on Sun Mar 04, 2012 at 09:06:37 AM EST
    gloat over "reasonable doubt" another rapist, who had the stellar defense of:  "I never had sex with the woman I impregnated" walks and a generation of girls has another reason to not report a sex crime.  

    Lucky the girl didn't live in SD or one of the other states dominated by the Christian right or she would have been assassinated for acknowledging publicly that she'd terminated a pregnancy caused by a rape.

    I'm not interested in the semantics of reasonable doubt.  What is a woman supposed to do to satisfy leeches who just want to get paid and get their client off at all cost?  Obviously she knew that she had been violated or she wouldn't have gone to the hospital.  But, as was born out, she knew she wasn't going to be believed.  Is it really any wonder she left the hospital without talking to the police?  She never asked for money, never threatened to carry the baby to term to extort child support or other monies...

    What happens if you get raped Jeralyn?  You know all the sleazeball tricks you would use to defend a client...but what happens when you are accused of being a golddigger, liar, slut, sex addict, drunk or any other demeaning word your rapist's lawyer can think to use to describe and label you in the courts and the court of public opinion?  Your denunciations will be listened to about as carefully as any of the other assault victims.  Like any good GOP talking point...once the claim has been made the burden of proof is always on the victim/target.  

    "Congrats Harvey!"  Yea, way to go.  You got, "I didn't have sex with her (I dunno how she got pregnant)" off and ensured that another girl might suffer the same fate.  

    Twisted and sad world...our government sucks, our laws are full of loopholes and the lawyers who don't mind getting the guilty off on technicality are very good at taking advantage of the government and the laws on the books.  Twisted and sad that the victim gets assaulted twice.  Twisted and sad that "NO" only seems to matter if the victim has lawyers as overpriced as the perpetrator's own.  Twisted and sad that a woman can be impregnated by a rapist and the rapist is the one who walks out of the courtroom thanking his "supporters".  

    He never said, "I didn't rape her."  No, he said, "I didn't even have sex with her."  Why would someone who had CONSENSUAL sex feel the need to lie about even having sex?  

    What do we teach our kids?  "Hey, if you wanna rape someone...make sure you have money for a good lawyer or she's passed out...it doesn't even matter if you get her pregnant."  or  "Hey, if you get raped...sucks to be you but you better just learn to live with it because you'll just get raped by the lawyers and press if you report it."

    CEOs for the banks can say, "Hey, we stepped to the line of the law but didn't break it so we aren't responsible for losing tens of billions of investor dollars."

    Billionaires operate businesses at a loss for tax write offs and when they claim bankruptcy they are still credit worthy for their next failed venture because that's the way the laws are written.  

    The rest of us common folk?  Kill someone in self-defense and we'll probably get the death penalty.  Get accused of rape and we'll probably get 20-30 yrs in the pen.  File for bankruptcy or get foreclosed on and we suffer for years, if not the rest of our lives.  

    But hey, the minimum wage is a "fair wage" and the laws written for the rich are "fair laws" and public defenders are "equal" to "the best possible defense."  It is awesome that guilt and innocence is inextricably tied to the size of one's bank account.  It is awesome that veracity is also equated with one's means.  I think it is awesome that I would have to use a public defender who may or may not be qualified, may or may not give a fuck, or may be a plea bargain specialist innocence be damned.  It warms my heart when money buys the "right" verdict.  

    Would the lawyers who celebrate putting rape victims on trial feel even an ounce of emotion if this girl had been infected with AIDS as well as being impregnated?  Or would they congregate and say, "we could prove reasonable doubt that the victim had HIV before the rape and had, in fact...given her rapist the disease?"

    People wonder why the world is so "cynical".  Gee, I can't imagine...not when money buys the legislation the rich want and money buys the verdict the rich needs.  But there is no "two Americas" and the 1% is a liberal myth.  

    The sad thing is that while Rush accuses college girls of being hookers the only true prostitutes are lawyers.  On one hand they can pretend to be liberals and decry such things as Bush war crimes...but if given the opportunity...and for a large fee of course...you, and most lib lawyers, would cut each others throats for the opportunity to defend Bush even if you knew he was guilty because "everyone deserves a proper defense" (except the poor) and if you win you build your brand and get to charge the next guilty rich person even more.  Prostitutes sell their bodies...lawyers sell their souls.  But hey...there is always the once a year or once a decade pro bono case to try and realign the scales of your conscience...and so much the better if the defendant just happens to have committed a press worthy crime so that you can get the attention your ego needs while also making sure everyone knows that you are working gratis out of the 'goodness of your heart'.