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Cox Sex Assault Trial Update: Jury Gets Case, Cox Doesn’t Testify

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Perrish Cox's mug shot (credit: Douglas County Sheriff's Department)

Perrish Cox’s mug shot (credit: Douglas County Sheriff’s Department)

CASTLE ROCK, Colo. (AP) – Jurors in the sexual assault trial of former Denver Broncos cornerback Perrish Cox have gone home for the day.

Deliberations will resume Friday.

Former Denver Broncos cornerback Perrish Cox told a judge Thursday that he wouldn’t testify at his sexual assault trial, a decision that came after jurors saw video of him expressing shock that the alleged victim was pregnant and that he was accused of raping her.

Cox is accused of sexually assaulting a woman in his apartment over Labor Day weekend 2010. The woman testified Wednesday, saying she had a fuzzy memory of what happened that night and suspected she had been drugged after waking up feeling sick the next day.

Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas also testified Wednesday, describing how Cox carried the sleeping woman into his bedroom and told Thomas: “She’s ready.”

In the portion of a videotaped interview that detectives did with Cox the night he was arrested, Lone Tree Police Department Detective Steve Hipp informs Cox that his DNA indicates he impregnated the woman. Cox then sits back and says, “Are you serious?”

“I never raped nobody,” Cox told the detective as both talked in a loud voice. “I’m losing it because, seriously, I never touched this girl.”

The interview ends with Cox asking: “I’m going to jail? You’re kidding me. What am I supposed to do? I didn’t.”

Later, Hipp testified that he took Cox to a holding cell where Cox later asked him, “What if she jumped on me when I was passed out?”

Cox also told the detectives that another girl, Carthy Che, was at the apartment, and he could have had sex with her if he wanted sex.

Prosecutors placed Hipp and another detective on the stand Thursday morning before finishing with their case. The defense rested its case shortly afterward and closing arguments concluded Thursday afternoon. The jury got the case just before 1 p.m.

Cox is being tried on one count of sexual assault while the victim was physically helpless and one count of sexual assault while the victim was incapable of determining the nature of the conduct. He faces two years to life in prison if convicted.

Prosecutors Chris Gallo and Bob Chappell presented a straightforward case: Cox denies having sex with the woman, who can’t recall having sex that night but became pregnant and Cox’s DNA matched the fetus.

Cox’s attorney, Harvey Steinberg, sought to paint a picture of drunkenness and failed sexual relations between Thomas and the woman, and possible sexual relations between the woman and Carthy Che, a woman Cox was dating at the time.

The Associated Press is not naming the woman because she is the alleged victim of a sex crime.

Both Thomas and the woman testified that they kissed during a car ride to Cox’s apartment from a nightclub and then kissed again while on an air mattress in Cox’s living room. The woman testified she doesn’t remember much after kissing Thomas.

Under questioning from Cox’s attorney, the woman said she suspected something happened and that if it had been with Thomas, she wouldn’t have considered it rape.

“It wouldn’t have been fine but I wouldn’t have seen it as rape if he admitted it,” she said, referring to Thomas.

She said she went to a hospital the next day, but left before police could arrive and collect evidence because she didn’t want to falsely accuse anybody when she wasn’t sure something happened. She contacted police on Oct. 28, 2010, after learning she was pregnant.

Thomas testified that Cox carried the sleeping woman to his bed and told Thomas, “I think she’s ready.” Steinberg objected, arguing Thomas he hadn’t used the “she’s ready” phrase in a previous interview, and he asked for a mistrial. District Judge Paul King declined.

Under questioning by Steinberg, Thomas said he sent the woman a text the next day to ask if she remembered what happened, which the woman told police she found suspicious. Thomas said he sent the text after Cassius Vaughn, Cox’s roommate who was asleep in the apartment during the alleged assault, told him at the Broncos’ practice facility that Che and the accuser “had a girl on girl action.”

Thomas caught an 80-yard touchdown pass in overtime to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers in a first-round playoff game in January.

By P. Solomon Banda, Associated Press

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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