A Los Angeles judge said Tuesday he is considering whether to declare a mistrial in the sexual assault lawsuit against NBA star Derrick Rose and two others because the plaintiff’s attorney might have withheld pertinent exhibits from the defense until the last minute.
Rose’s lawyers made a motion to have U.S. District Court Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald render the trial invalid because they were not given several text messages they claim are essential to their case until the New York Knicks player was on the witness stand Friday.
Branding the situation “careless,” the judge told the plaintiff’s lawyers to prove to him on Wednesday that the texts had been disclosed before he makes a decision.
Rose, Randall Hampton and Ryan Allen were sued for what the 30-year-old plaintiff alleges was a pre-dawn gang rape at her downtown Los Angeles apartment while she was unconscious on Aug. 27, 2013. She is seeking at least $21.5 million in damages.
The defendants deny the allegations, claiming the woman invited them to her home and the sexual contact was consensual.
Waukeen McCoy, the woman’s lawyer, told the judge that the texts in question reveal that the plaintiff was unaware the men were coming over and that she had to intention of having sex with them.
The defense claims the texts show that the woman was a willing partner and was aware the men were on their way.
Fitzgerald did not say when he would issue a ruling on the mistrial request.
In testimony Tuesday, the 28-year-old athlete told jurors that he was raised by his mother to treat women well and never disrespect them.
He said he would never touch a woman without her consent and testified that the plaintiff was “awake and alert” when he and his friends had sex with her “one at a time.”
Rose portrayed the woman as an occasional sex partner during an 18-month relationship that ended in the months prior to the alleged assault.
After partying at his house, the plaintiff allegedly went home and texted Rose and the others to come over. One text sent to Rose read: “You need to come see me right now.”
Rose said the woman opened the door of her building to the three men and led them into her apartment, telling them they could have sex with her “one at a time.”
After Rose was finished, the basketball star said, the woman appeared “peaceful … relaxed,” and began talking of her job.
“It looked like she had a good night,” Rose testified.
Lawyers for the plaintiff contend their client was drugged by the men at a gathering earlier that night and, hours later, the three sneaked into her apartment and raped her.
The woman testified last week that she retains only “flashes” of memory about the alleged assault, but was adamant that she never gave Rose, Hampton and Allen consent to have sex with her at her home.
Rose, who normally gives terse, one-word responses while on the stand, showed a rare flash of anger when McCoy referred to his mother’s teachings in the context of questions about the alleged assault.
“Was that a joke?” Rose snapped. “Don’t play on my mom like that.”
Fitzgerald quickly calmed the former NBA MVP.
Rose also repeated testimony from last week in which he stated he believed he had the right to have sex with the woman based on their previous relationship and sex-themed texts he received from her throughout the day of the alleged assault.
After Rose stepped down from the stand, McCoy called Hampton, who painted the woman as sexually aggressive throughout the gathering at Rose’s rented Beverly Hills mansion.
Although the plaintiff denies it, Hampton testified that the woman gave lap dances to Allen and himself and then had sex with him.
“She pushed me over to the bed,” Hampton told the panel. “I would say she initiated it.”
The judge will allow an expert medical witness to testify for the defense Wednesday morning, interrupting the plaintiff’s case.
–City News Service