Sam Ukwuachu, a former defense end player for the Baylor and Boise State, was convicted by a Texan judge and sentenced to six months in jail. He was on trial for sexually assaulting a former female Baylor soccer player.
Texas 54th District Court Judge Matt Johnson ordered Sam Ukwuachu to spend 180 days behind bars and handed out a 10-year probation, as well as 400 hours of community service, to the soccer player. Additionally, Ukwuachu will have to register as a sex offender, reported Bleacher Report. What’s surprising about the case is that a previous investigation hadn’t found enough evidence to pursue the case.
The local media and the soccer fans had apparently no clue Sam Ukwuachu had a run-in with the law and had a case pending in court. However, the case has revealed some startling facts about the defense end player, whom the coach was confident would return for this season. “Ukwuachu is a guy we’re expecting to be back,” Bears defensive coordinator Phil Bennett had said, reported Dallas Morning News. The case pertains to an incident that happened about two years ago.
In October 2013, the woman who claimed Sam Ukwuachu sexually assaulted her had testified that she met the soccer player through the Baylor athletic tutoring program, reported KCCI. Apparently, under the pretext of getting something to eat together or going to another party, Ukwuachu offered the woman, then a soccer player for Baylor, a ride in his car. But instead of a friendly dinner, she claimed he drove her to his apartment and sexually assaulted her in his bedroom.
Shockingly, even after Waco, Texas, police interviewed her and filed their report, the case was suspended and no arrests were made. Speaking about the case and the lack of action, Baylor Associate Dean Bethany McCraw had testified that “there was not enough evidence to move forward” in the school’s investigation.
Before the trial that saw Sam Ukwuachu convicted, his lawyer, Jonathan Sibley, hadn’t denied the sexual relations between the two, but had stated that the encounter was consensual,
“We are looking forward to the trial. Sam passed a polygraph exam, he’s been cleared by Baylor and has graduated and is 100 percent innocent of these charges against him. He has done everything a man can do to clear his name, and he is looking forward to the trial so he can finally do that.”
Interestingly, even after the conviction, Sibley proclaims Ukwuachu’s innocence,
“He says he did not do this. He’s maintained that throughout the trial. We still maintain that. He has the right to appeal and complain to a higher court, and we’re certainly going to look at those options.”
Getting sentenced to 180 days in jail is negligible, considering the fact that Sam Ukwuachu once faced up to 20 years in prison, reported ESPN.
[Image Credit | Ronald Martinez / Getty Images]