Derrick Rose Cleared of Rape Allegations in Suit

New York Knicks basketball player Derrick Rose arrives at U.S. District Court in downtown Los Angeles. AP / Damian Dovarganes

Derrick Rose, the NBA star accused along with two friends of sexually assaulting a woman he once dated was cleared of all charges in a $21.5 million civil trial in Los Angeles on Wednesday. A jury of six women and two men took less than four hours to deliberate before rejecting the claim that the woman had been drugged and forced into sexual activity in a 2013 incident.

Rose, 28, who began the current season with the New York Knicks after being traded from the Chicago Bulls in June, was accused along with co-defendants Ryan Allen and Randall Hampton of breaking into the woman’s apartment, while she was intoxicated from a night out drinking, then drugged before they took advantage of her.

However, Rose maintained that the sex between them was consensual and that she sought to have sex with them, even sending him text messages inviting the men to her apartment. Rose and the woman, whose name has been withheld, had an open relationship, but it broke off some time before the alleged rape took place.

The woman told jurors that she was in and out of consciousness on the night in question, while at a Beverly Hills house being rented by Rose. She said she suspected that a drug had been put in one of her drinks. She later took a taxi to her own apartment, but woke up later to find the three men in her apartment and described them assaulting her.

But Rose’s defense disputed that claim, saying she was completely sober and cognizant of what she was doing as she took the men into her bedroom one by one. He balked at her claims  saying she was trying to extort money from him.

Two years after the incident, the woman reported her claim to Los Angeles police, who are continuing to investigate the case, although one of the lead detectives in the criminal investigation was found dead last week in an apparent suicide. Rose has not been criminally charged.

In a statement to the Associated Press, Rose said: “I am thankful that the jury understood and agreed with me. This experience and my sensitivity to it was deep. I am ready to put this behind me and focus on my family and career.”