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July 23, 2012

UPDATE: Attorneys recap testimony as Oklahoma State athlete Darrell Williams' case goes to jury

STILLWATER, Okla. — A jury of eight men and four women exited the courtroom at 12:20 p.m. Monday to deliberate after hearing evidence in the felony trial of Oklahoma State athlete Darrell Williams.

Williams is charged with four counts of rape by instrumentation and one count of sexual battery. If convicted, rape by instrumentation carries a sentence of no less than one year and no more than 15 years in prison. Sexual battery can carry a sentence of up to 10 years.

The charges stem from a December 2010 house party. Two women testified Williams sexually assaulted them several times that night.

During closing arguments, Defense attorney Cheryl Ramsey said the case comes down to the word of Williams against the word of three friends – including the two victims. Ramsey reminded the jury that no one at the party other than the three women testified that they saw anyone being sexually assaulted. She also said her client has maintained his innocence since the beginning.

“Why would you take their word over his?” she said. The defense attorney contended the victims’ stories didn’t make sense. The victims didn’t take advantage of OSU assault victim resources and waited to tell their families and police, Ramsey said.

Assistant District Attorney Jill Tontz told the jury that the case is about Williams getting what he wants at all costs. She reminded the jury of witnesses who said Williams was intoxicated and that basketball players were making women feel uncomfortable at the party. She said the two victims have never wavered in their identification of Williams as their attacker.

“Darrell Williams doesn’t understand that not everyone wants to sleep with a basketball player,” Tontz said, taking the jury through each of the victims’ testimony. The defense also took jurors through testimony, noting inconsistencies, and reminded them of the lack of physical evidence.

After the jury left the courtroom, the two victims in the front row hugged each other and cried while surrounded by their families.

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