Stillwater News Press

Local News

July 22, 2012

Lawyers will present closing arguments Monday in trial of Oklahoma State University athlete Darrell Williams

STILLWATER, Okla. — The sex-crime trial of Oklahoma State basketball player Darrell Williams is scheduled to continue Monday with jury instructions and closing arguments.

Williams, 22, is accused of sexually assaulting two women at a party in December 2010. He faces four counts of rape by instrumentation and a count of sexual battery. Two women testified Williams stuck his hands down their pants and touched them sexually.

Defense attorneys Willie Baker and Cheryl Ramsey said during the trial that Williams could have been misidentified at the poorly lit party where witnesses say many men were dressed in OSU basketball warmup suits. Tontz said the evidence showed Williams was a basketball star who wouldn’t take no for an answer. In an audio recording of an interview with police, Williams professed his innocence and said he was misidentified.

During the trial the defense called 11 witnesses, including one who failed to appear. The state, which finished its case Wednesday, called nine witnesses including the two women Williams is accused of assaulting.

Prosecution witnesses testified they saw Jarred Shaw, Marshall Moses, Williams and other players in OSU warmup suits at the party, drinking and and flirting with women.

Only Williams’ accusers testified about the assaults. Other witnesses testified about the party and scene at the December 2010 house party, but didn’t see the attacks.

One woman testified Thursday that several men in warmup suits held her down and sexually assaulted her in the basement of the house during the party. She said they would not stop despite her yelling and kicking. They found it amusing and laughed, she testified. She did not accuse Williams of any wrongdoing, but identified him in the courtroom as being at the party and in the basement.

One of the Williams accusers testified he fondled her against her will in a crowded basement and again in a yard while another man used his cellphone to record the incident. The recording wasn’t entered as evidence in the trial.

The other accuser testified Williams touched her breasts and groin in the basement and then dragged her outside where he sexually assaulted her against a fence and then a truck. She said she was able to break free when her attacker became distracted as he chatted with someone who approached them.

Two witnesses for the defense testified they were in the basement with Williams when some of the events were alleged to have taken place. They said they did not witness any sexual assaults.

Stillwater police detectives said the two women, both OSU students, picked Williams from an unlabeled photo of the OSU basketball team. The second victim said she was an OSU basketball fan at the time and attended all the games. She said she was facing her attacker during the assault and knew immediately it was Williams. Both women identified him in the courtroom as their attacker.

Police detectives said they did not use any individual headshot photos of Williams or his teammates out of uniform. The Stillwater Police Department doesn’t have a policy regarding photo lineups, Detective Les Little said.

Oklahoma State University men’s basketball coach Travis Ford, former player Keiton Page and others testified for the defense about Williams’ character.

Ford said he had reviewed the police report, OSU’s report and talked with his players and the district attorney’s office.

“[Williams] has proven to me that he did not do this,” Ford testified. “If I believed he had done this and had direct evidence I would have dismissed him from the team.”

Ford has kept Williams on scholarship and the player continues to participate in all team activities except games. During direct examination, Ford said Williams and former players Marshall Moses and Jarred Shaw have similar complexions and build.

Shaw was subpoenaed by the defense and called as its final witness but failed to appear in the courtroom.

Ford testified that Shaw left the team suddenly after charges against Williams were filed. Ford said Shaw had wanted more playing time despite coaches telling him he would be a starter next season.

Page said the charges were out of character for Williams who he described as “laid-back, polite, courteous.” Williams’ mother Alice Williams said her son is not capable of committing the charges.

“He would never do anything like this,” she said.

Witnesses also testified Yayi Janneh, an acquaintance of some of the players, was at the party. He was charged with two counts of sexual battery in February 2011 stemming from the December 2010 house party.

Undersheriff Garry McKinnis said Janneh was arrested in South Carolina but was released on a $25,000 bond and failed to appear in court. He is at-large, McKinnis said and there is a warrant for his arrest.

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