Stillwater News Press

Crime Beat

July 11, 2012

Jury seated in Stillwater for sex crime trial of suspended Oklahoma State athlete Darrell Williams

STILLWATER, Okla. — A jury for the trial of suspended Oklahoma State University basketball player Darrell Williams was seated and sworn in Wednesday afternoon after three days of questioning by the state and Williams’ defense team.

Williams has pleaded not guilty to four charges of rape by instrumentation and one charge of sexual battery stemming from a house party in December 2010.

District Judge Phillip Corley said court proceedings would continue 9 a.m. Thursday with instructions and opening statements. Attorneys have indicated during questioning that the two female accusing Williams will likely testify, along with OSU men’s basketball head coach Travis Ford, former Cowboy basketball standouts Keiton Page and Marshall Moses.

Corley said the trial would likely last through next week.

Court Clerk Lisa Lambert said usually 45 people are called from the county jury pool to be potential jurors. For this trial, Lambert said, 82 potential jurors were called to check in Monday.

Three of the 12 seated jurors are employed by OSU — two professors and one book store employee. Most potential jurors questioned had some connection to the university — they graduated from OSU, attended OSU sports games or had children who attended or were attending the university. Of the 12 seated, eight are men and four are women. The alternate is male.

During court proceedings, 12 potential jurors were excused for cause, mostly because of past sexual abuse or connections to law enforcement. Another 10 were excused via peremptory challenge — five by the prosecution and five by the defense. Each side has five challenges that allow them to dismiss any potential juror without explanation.

According to affadavits, two women, who the prosecution said will likely testify in court, accused Williams of touching them sexually while at a house party on Lewis Street in December 2010. One woman claims Williams groped her. Another woman contends he stuck his hands down the front of her pants and touched her sexually, court records show.

During jury questioning, the prosecution and defense have indicated that some people at the party were drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana.

 

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