CASTLE ROCK, Colo. (AP) – A judge ruled Tuesday that a videotaped statement by former Broncos cornerback Perrish Cox made in a holding cell can’t be used at his upcoming sexual assault trial, but a written summary of his statements will be allowed.
The decision by District Judge Paul King dealt a blow to Cox’s defense after his attorney had asked for the suppression of the video and another recording made while at the police department.
King disallowed the video of the jailhouse interview as a sanction for a delay by prosecutors in giving defense attorneys a copy of it. King said his decision was partly to “level the playing field” between prosecutors and the defense.
Prosecutors said the tape had been mislabeled by police. It was provided to defense attorney Harvey A. Steinberg just a day before a hearing in August — about nine months after the arrest of Cox.
In rejecting Steinberg’s request to suppress the other recording and statement, King ruled Cox voluntarily made them to investigators.
It was unclear why Steinberg wanted the judge to toss out any of the recordings, which seem to help Cox in his defense. In each one — a recorded phone call between Cox and the accuser, an interview with detectives at his apartment, and a 23-minute interview at the Lone Tree Police Department — Cox denied ever having sex with or even touching the accuser. He repeated that again in the suppressed holding cell video.
“My strategy is to do the trial,” Steinberg said, declining to discuss why he wanted to have the recordings tossed out.
An arrest affidavit said the accuser became pregnant, and DNA tests indicate Cox is the father.
Cox is charged with sexual assault against a person who was physically helpless and sexual assault against a person who was incapable of determining the nature of the conduct.
He has pleaded not guilty and is free on $50,000 bail. His trial is scheduled to begin Oct. 18.
Cox was at the hearing with a family member and a woman he said was his girlfriend.
“I’m really looking forward to it being over and returning to my daytime lifestyle, you know, football,” Cox said after the hearing. He said several teams have shown interest in him, and he’s made the short list of some, though he didn’t say which teams.
“They keep asking about the trial, you know, when is the trial going to be over?”‘ he said.
According to the affidavit, the woman told investigators she suspected she might have been drugged when she and friends visited Cox’s apartment in September 2010 because she could not remember most of the night.
Doctors put the date of conception around the time she was at Cox’s apartment.
She went to police on Oct. 28, the day she said she learned she was pregnant. She told investigators that she didn’t file a complaint sooner because she wasn’t sure she had been raped and didn’t want to make unfounded charges.
When police interviewed Cox on Nov. 8, he denied having sex with the accuser, the affidavit said. He refused to allow a DNA sample to be taken until investigators obtained a court order, the document said.
King, reading in court from a transcript of an interview at the Lone Tree Police Department, said a detective confronted Cox with the DNA evidence.
“How did I get your DNA from her baby?” King quoted the detective.
The transcript says Cox responded: “Are you serious?”
Cox later told the detective: “I swear I never touched her … I didn’t touch her at all.”
– By P. Solomon Banda, AP Writer
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)