LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A jury has acquitted former Nebraska football player Katerian LeGrone of sexually assaulting a 19-year-old fellow student in 2019.
The Lancaster County jury returned the verdict Thursday, the Lincoln Journal Star reported. LeGrone had been charged with first-degree sexual assault.
LaGrone was a redshirt freshman tight end from Atlanta when he and another Nebraska player, Andre Hunt from Palmdale, California, were accused of sexually assaulting the woman the night of Aug. 25, 2019, at the Lincoln apartment the men shared.
Prosecutors argued that Hunt had been in bed with the woman when LeGrone sneaked into the bedroom, switched places with Hunt and raped her. LeGrone initially denied having any sexual contact with the woman when questioned by police, but later told investigators he had asked to join when he came in the room.
LeGrone’s attorney argued that the woman saw LeGrone enter the bedroom and knew the men had switched places, but did nothing to indicate she didn’t consent.
The woman testified she was too scared to object for fear of what might happen to her. After she left, she sent a message to a group of close friends saying, “I think I just got raped.”
Hunt was also initially charged with first-degree sexual assault, but later accepted a plea deal to two misdemeanor counts: accessory to attempted false imprisonment and giving false information.
A Title IX investigation conducted by the school concluded LaGrone and Hunt had violated the university’s sexual misconduct policy and they were suspended. They also were suspended indefinitely from all team activities shortly after the reported incident.
Both players entered the NCAA transfer portal in December 2019. Neither has been picked up by another school.