The Edmond Sun

July 18, 2012

OSU player's trial continues

By Russell Hixson
CNHI News Service

STILLWATER — Testimony in the sex crime trial of suspended Oklahoma State basketball player Darrell Williams was set to continue at 9 a.m. Wednesday.

Tuesday jurors heard from the second of two women who made allegations that led to charges against Williams, 22.  The woman testified Williams and other Oklahoma State basketball players repeatedly assaulted her sexually at a house party despite her pleading for them to stop.

The OSU student testified Williams assaulted her in a basement, beside a fence and against the side of a truck during an early morning off-campus party in December 2010.

Williams is charged with four counts of rape by instrumentation and a count of sexual battery.

She said the first attack occurred when several men she described as tall and wearing OSU basketball warmup suits touched her breasts and groin in the basement of a house during a party. The woman said two men grabbed her hands and held them to their genitals while Williams stood in front of her.

“I watched him put his hands down my pants,” she testified, referring to Williams. She said he inserted his finger inside her. She said she assumed the others to be basketball players because they were wearing the warmup suits, were very tall and had been talking about how they were OSU basketball players.

“I was begging them to stop and leave me alone,” she said. There were about 20 people in the basement and nobody came to help, the woman testified. She identified one of the men as Yayi Janneh. Janneh was charged in February 2011 with two counts of sexual battery in connection with the house party.

The woman said former OSU basketball player Marshall Moses was also present in the basement during her assault. According to court records, Moses has not been charged in the case. Moses has been subpoenaed by the state and could testify.

The woman said her attackers and Williams would not stop assaulting her but she was eventually able to break free. She said Williams stopped her before she could leave the basement. He grabbed both her wrists and dragged her to a nearby fence outside the home, the woman testified. She said he put his hands down her pants and inserted his finger inside her.

“It made me feel violated and sick to my stomach,” the student said. She said Williams then dragged her over to a truck where he held her wrists, stepped on her feet and pinned her to the side while he put his hands down her pants and inserted his finger again.

Williams sat quietly during the testimony, occasionally whispering to his defense attorneys. During breaks in the court session he talked with teammates and friends who have been in the courtroom for the trial that is in its second week.

On Tuesday afternoon, the woman testified another man walked up during the ordeal and began to chat with Williams about that night’s OSU basketball game. She said Williams became distracted, loosened his grip and she was able to break free.

The woman said she begged Williams to stop during the attacks while he whispered, “I can’t wait to f--- you tonight”  in her ear.

The woman said at the time she was a big basketball fan and went to nearly every game. She said she instantly recognized Williams when he was at a bar earlier the night of the assaults. She said he invited her to the party and he introduced himself by name. She said during the attacks he was facing her and she recognized the man as being Williams.

She said after getting home from the party she sat naked in the shower crying and scrubbing her skin with soap.

“I could still feel his hands on me,” she testified during direct examination.

Jeremy Dula, an OSU student who attended the party, testified Tuesday OSU basketball players were touching girls’ bottoms as they entered the basement. Dula said people began leaving quickly at around 2:30 a.m. because word got around that something had occurred in the basement. The student testified he did not see anyone assaulted at the party.

During cross examination by defense attorney Cheryl Ramsey, the victim said she had viewed a photo of the team on a computer before going to the police station where she identified Williams as her attacker. Ramsey quoted testimony from a preliminary hearing  in which the woman said she and the other two women who reported being assaulted at the party had viewed photos online of the team to try and identify players. The woman said she didn’t remember if they had viewed photos.

The woman identified herself as the main author of a letter anonymously describing the events and delivered to OSU officials and police after the party. She said she had changed a section of the letter written by the other victim slightly but nothing that changed the facts of the attacks.

Ramsey asked why the victim did not scream or try to get help from others at the party. The victim said she was scared, focused on getting away and thought it was obvious she was in need of assistance. She also explained that she did not immediately go to the police because she was terrified and did not think anyone would do anything about an assault by an athlete.

“Student athletes tend to get special treatment,” she said.

In the courtroom gallery benches behind Williams Tuesday sat a group of Oklahoma State basketball players including Le’Bryan Nash, Cezar Guerrero, Marek Soucek, Christien Sager and Philip Jurick. Incoming freshman players Marcus Smart Phil Forte, Kamari Murphy and several team managers were also present.

Williams was suspended from the OSU basketball team in February 2011 but continues to practice with the team and remains on the roster. OSU men’s basketball head coach Travis Ford is listed as a defense witness.

   

RUSSELL HIXSON writes for the Stillwater NewsPress.