LOS ANGELES – The ex-girlfriend who lost her lawsuit accusing NBA star Derrick Rose and two friends of raping her appealed the verdict Thursday on the grounds that damning testimony should have been excluded and other evidence should have been admitted at trial.
Jurors cleared the Knicks point guard and his friends last month in Los Angeles federal court after they testified that the woman was coherent and willingly engaged in sex with them during an evening get-together at Rose’s rented mansion in Beverly Hills and again early the next morning at her apartment in August 2013.
The woman had been seeking $21.5 million in the suit that claimed the men gang raped her at home while she was incapacitated from booze or drugs and unable to consent to sex.
“We combed the records, looked at the transcripts and I think the judge misapplied the rape shield law and, in doing so, abused his discretion,” the woman’s lawyer, Waukeen McCoy, told The Associated Press.
Rape shield laws limit or prohibit evidence of a victim’s past sexual history to be introduced in a case, though there are exceptions to the rule.
McCoy said the judge should have excluded testimony by the Knicks point guard and his friends who said the woman willingly engaged in sex with them earlier in the evening at Rose’s house because it was irrelevant to the later incident.
The woman denied having sex with the men at the mansion. She said she drank shots of tequila by the pool, felt drugged and went home to her apartment, where she vomited and passed out.
She said she awoke in the early morning to find the three men assaulting her in her bedroom.
Jurors said they found the woman’s account hard to believe and didn’t think there was enough evidence to support her claims.
Los Angeles police have an open investigation into the woman’s claims. The Associated Press does not generally name people who say they are victims of sex crimes.
Rose’s lawyers have asked the judge to award $70,000 in court expenses because the defense prevailed at trial. In a court filing, his attorneys said they expected an appeal “which will be meritless, frivolous, and sanctionable.”
Lawyers for Rose did not immediately return a message seeking comment.