NBA Star Derrick Rose Rape Trial Moves Forward As Judge Rules Accuser Must Be Named

The new NBA season for the New York Knicks is beginning with a bit of a cloud over it, as star point guard Derrick Rose prepares for an upcoming rape trial. In a decision on this case yesterday, a Los Angeles federal court judge ruled that Derrick Rose’s accuser must be named, reports the Chicago Tribune.

This is an unusual, although not unprecedented, turning point in a rape case, and rests in the fact that this case is a civil trial. Even so, it is an issue that has sparked an outcry with women’s groups and with the public following this case.

Derrick Rose is not facing criminal charges stemming from an August, 2013, incident where his accuser is saying she was gang raped by Derrick Rose and two other men in her own apartment. The victim has, since the incident, filed a report with the local police, but at this point, no evidence has been turned over to the district attorney’s office for review for prosecution.

Instead of prosecution, the victim known at this time only as Jane Doe to the press, has initiated civil proceedings against the NBA star and is seeking $21.5 million in damages, reports the Washington Post. Yesterday, U.S. District Judge Michael Fitzgerald ruled that the “law was clear” and he was unable to close the courtroom to protect the identity of the accused.

Once the trial begins on October 4, the accuser must be named, and this will be released to the public. Derrick Rose has a son that will turn 5 on October 9.

[Image by Nam Y. Huh name/AP Images]

The United States does not have federal legislation protecting the privacy of rape victims, and sexual assault privacy laws vary by state according to the New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assault.

Those laws also only apply in cases where criminal charges or indictments have been placed. There is no legislation protecting the privacy of accusers in a rape civil trial.

Derrick Rose and the accuser, in this case, are known to each other, having dated each other “non-exclusively” for two years according to the Chicago Tribune. During their relationship, Derrick Rose allegedly asked Jane Doe on multiple occasions for consensual group sex, reports Think Progress. Depositions taken in this civil suit indicate that every time, Jane Doe refused.

Think Progress also says that Derrick’s constant requests for group sex were the reason that Jane Doe tried to break things off with him “earlier that summer.” Derrick Rose had requested a foursome with himself, the accuser in this case, Randall Hampton, and the girlfriend of Randall Hampton. Jane Doe said no, and tried to end the relationship.

Text messages revealed in case filings and depositions before this trial also show that Derrick Rose frequently requested sexually explicit material from his accuser.

On the night in question in August, 2013, however, Jane Doe and her girlfriend were spending time with Derrick Rose and some friends. And they were drinking. She consumed wine, tequila, and vodka, in the time span of just a few hours reports Think Progress. After that, she went home.

There is no dispute between the parties that Jane Doe was highly inebriated on the night in question. Although her blood alcohol level was not taken that evening, and Derrick Rose’s own expert has estimated that, given all of the evidence of what they can agree on that she did drink, along with her height and weight, her BAC level was estimated as 0.20, 2.5 times the legal limit, notes Think Progress.

After drinking at his house that evening, Jane’s girlfriend got in a cab with her and took her home, making sure she got home safely. Her friend has testified in a deposition that it was “very obvious” that Jane Doe was very drunk, so much so that she put her hand in a fire and picked up a rock “for no rational reason,” reports Think Progress.

Jane Doe did suffer burns on her hand as a result of that incident. Jane’s friend then had a fight with someone at the party, after which point the girls left. After making sure Jane Doe arrived home safely, her friend went home.

But, the Washington Post reports that the taxi driver had to help Jane Doe into her apartment that night. After she got home safely, she says in depositions she vomited and passed out for a little while.

Later that evening, Jane Doe alleges that Derrick Rose began texting her, asking her if she got home safely. He asked her to return to his house alone, saying he would send a driver to come and get her. Jane Doe did not want to go to his house and told him to come to her house alone.

Derrick Rose continued to text her. Think Progress has revealed some of those text messages. They begin at 1:24 a.m. on August 27, 2013, when he says to her, “Hit me when u by yoself.” He tells her he is going to “have my guy” come and pick her up.

Jane Doe says at 1:46 a.m., “Come with him babe.” Derrick Rose immediately responds at 1:48 a.m., “He bringing u back here and we gon make sure u get to work.” At 2:06 a.m. Derrick says to her, “He already on his way” and she responds, “aight he turned around to pick u up.”

In other words, she did not want to go to his house, but wanted him to come to her house, alone. Between 2:05 a.m. and 2:53 a.m., multiple calls and texts were sent to Jane Doe that went unanswered.

In those text messages, Jane Doe was told that “we” were outside. The “we” refers to Derrick Rose, Randall Hampton, and Ryan Allen, Derrick’s co-defendants. Records show that Ryan Allen also tried texting and calling the victim in this case.

She did not answer those calls, or respond to texts. The men then went into her apartment uninvited. Derrick Rose provided a deposition on June 17 of this year as to the reason why.

The reason he stated was reportedly, “we men.” He said, “we men. You can assume. Like we leaving to go over to someone’s house at 1:00, there’s nothing to talk about.”

Derrick Rose has also admitted that Jane Doe never consented to or even mentioned group sex in any of the conversations leading up to their entry into her home. Think Progress reports that he was also asked at his deposition, “Is there anything within them [text messages] that would lead you to believe that Plaintiff wanted to have sex with you and the other two defendants on August 26th, 2013?” Derrick Rose answered “No.”

In her own deposition, Jane Doe says that she woke up the next day “fully dressed and wet with lubricant” reports Think Progress. The Washington Post says her dress was still hiked over her head when she woke up, and she woke up in physical pain. She says her sheets were messed up, and also messy with lubricant, and a used condom was in her bedroom.

She testified in deposition, “I never had my apartment that way. Like that would never have happened.” She continued with her day, trying to piece together the events of the night prior with the help of her girlfriend. Think Progress reports that at 4:57 p.m. on August 30, 2013, she sent a message to Derrick Rose, quoted her as directly quoted by Think Progress,

“Your actions have made me lose faith in you I’m discovering what your intentions were that night, this has been very detrimental to my mindset, living situation my girl is moving out, I’m losing a friend, huge burns on my hands and I missed a very important day of work. U not responding is verifying the truth. I have your friends number and the taxi cabs #. I need u to respond so I can finally stop thinking and put an end to this.”

At 5:03 p.m. she received a response from him, saying, “I just been busy. I swear I got u tho.” Jane Doe replied at 5:23 p.m. saying, “My roommnate is telling me I was not myself. She wants me to pull the tape from my apt so I can see the taxi that waited outside yo spot for an hour, walkin me all the way in my apt…this is [bleep] embarrassing. I failed myself and I just want them to stop talking about it. I’m so disturbed by this and it’s weighing heavy on me.”

Jane Doe also deposed that her confusion was high for days after the event and that her inquiries to Derrick to clarify that confusion were not satisfied, and he stopped returning her texts. In 2015, she filed a civil suit against Derrick Rose and the two other men that were there that evening, seeking damages of $21.5 million dollars.

Derrick Rose has denied the allegations. Although, Think Progress reports, he has also admitted in depositions that he is not clear what consent actually is.

The civil trial is expected to begin October 4. However, the Washington Post reports that the lawyers of the victim are trying to pressure Derrick Rose and his co-defendants to settle out of court, to avoid further intimate details about his sexual history coming to light.

If this were to happen, the accuser would be spared being publicly named. As the trial inches closer, and NBA training camp inches closer as well, more and more disturbing details about the situation begin to surface that do not put Derrick Rose in a good light, according to sports experts following the case.

One way Derrick Rose can avoid all of that conflict would be to settle out of court, thus also, preventing the accuser from being named. She has resisted going forward and identifying herself before yesterday’s ruling, saying that her elderly parents that she cares for are unaware of any of this, and she’d like to keep it that way.

Yesterday’s ruling was no surprise to her, however, as her lawyers did prepare her for that eventuality, and have said “she’s prepared to go to trial” according to the New York Post.

Judge Fitzgerald ruled yesterday that the accuser must be named on the first day of trial, and not a minute sooner. The defense attorney then said her name in yesterday’s hearing.

The attorney said her name a second time and was given a “stern rebuke” and threatened with a $1,000 sanction by the judge reports the Chicago Tribune. After which the judge reportedly said, “Do not test my patience.”

Whether or not the case will settle out of court remains to be seen. If the case goes to trial, it will conflict with pre-season preparations for Derrick Rose and his first season with the New York Knicks.

[Featured Image by Mary Altaffer/AP Images]