What Saved Derrick Rose at His $21 Million Rape Trial
The NBA star and two pals were accused of breaking into a woman’s apartment and gang raping her—but were cleared thanks to a few key text messages.
LOS ANGELES – Derrick Rose won his first victory as a New York Knick before ever stepping on the court of Madison Square Garden.
The superstar baller and two of his childhood Chicago pals were all cleared of allegations brought by a woman who accused them of gang raping her in Los Angeles two years ago. The woman sued the trio for $21.3 million in damages.
Rose appeared to be giddy after the trial, reportedly posing with several jurors after the verdict.
Rose, Ryan Allen and Randall Hampton, all 28 years old, said they believed what transpired was a night of consensual sex, with a woman with whom Rose had been “non exclusively” intimate with for three years.
But in a series of flashbacks during the trial, the accuser known as Jane Doe claimed that she was “blacked-out drunk” and the victim of a premeditated gang rape.
It was a trial flooded with explicit content: sexts read aloud, one pink “sex belt,” a pink vibrator, and NBA lessons on collecting condoms after sex.
Then there was the “unbelievably careless” handling of three “exculpatory” text messages by the accuser’s attorneys, which were withheld from Rose and company’s counsel until an LAPD detective furnished them with a complete inventory, but already after the trial had begun.
The mishandling of those texts and other exhibits in the case peeved U.S. District Court Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald so much so that he weighed on whether to send the civil case to a mistrial.
Ultimately, the judge decided the civil case would slog on.
But then on Wednesday as Ryan Allen testified, it was announced that the 44-year-old LAPD detective—who was investigating whether the allegations in the civil suit warranted a criminal offense or consensual conquest—was found dead from what is believed to be a self-inflicted gunshot toward the end of the trial.
The 31-page civil complaint brought against Rose was filed two years to the day after the alleged incident, to meet California’s statute of limitations for personal injury cases. In it the woman known as Jane Doe claimed Rose, Allen and Hampton “drugged” her so she was “unable to resist” at Rose’s Beverly Hills rental on Aug. 26, 2013. Hours later, the three men “trespassed” into her apartment where they allegedly took turns raping her.
Doe accused all three men in her civil lawsuit of trespassing, battery, and sexual battery.
It all started when Doe and a friend accepted an invitation to party at Rose’s Beverly Hills pad. That’s when “Rose, Hampton and Allen discussed and planned a scheme to drug [Doe] and each have sex with her,” the complaint alleged. They furnished her with Don Julio tequila and the defendants allegedly “also placed an unknown drug in a drink given to [Doe] without [Doe’s] consent….”
Doe believes she was acting beyond drunk, playing with “burning gemstones” from a fire pit and “tossing them,” unaware she was injuring her hands. The unnamed friend who had accompanied her was then told to leave.
“Fuck talking, take your clothes off,” Allen allegedly told the friend. When she rebuffed them, he then yelled, “What are you in here for then? Well get the fuck out.”
The friend stuck around with a cab to make sure Doe left the party, too. Once home, the complaint said Doe was so “extremely incapacitated” that “the cab driver helped her walk to the front door.”
During that evening Doe claims to remember only flashbacks between a night of gagging and nausea.
“She recalls a flash with all three defendants in her room,” the complaint said, and asked them, “Why are you guys in here, where’s my roommate?”
She said she woke up the next day to discover “her dress was around her neck, and there was lubricant all over her body… condoms strewn around her room and bed.”
In addition, she claims to have felt a “rug-burn” sensation between her legs, all around her legs, and internal pain inside her vagina.
Doe instantly felt “ashamed and embarrassed” and thought to herself that this was “not supposed to happen.”
She went to her job that day as a property manager and then caved when a coworker asked what was wrong. Doe ultimately blamed her trauma from the incident as causing her to be fired for repeatedly using the company phone to discuss her case with a lawyer she’d retained.
Allen rang Doe a month later and she put the phone on speaker so her friend could also listen in, the complaint said, adding that Allen claimed he “was not aware that [Doe] was drugged that night” and simply “thought she had wanted it.”
Rose’s version of the events leading up to the night in question was that Doe was not a victim but a willing, eager participant in sex with him and his friends.
Rose said in pre-trial deposition that he awoke to Doe texting him a suggestive selfie around 10 a.m. on August 26, 2013.
“My inspiration” Doe wrote in one text to Rose.
“What’s that for?” Rose replied.
“U the reason why I wake up horny,” she responded.
Rose asked for Doe if she and one of “yo girls come spend the night wit me tonight.” The text was followed by another: “Surprise me wit a chick if you can.”
Doe, according to the text messages and deposition transcripts, asked for Rose to pick up the tab for a “pink [sex] belt” she bought at a “girls on girls store.” Doe also asked Rose if he wanted weed.
And then Doe asked him if he was game for ecstasy, because she apparently wanted to please her friend whom she was bringing over to his home.
“U got e babe she wants som we just left the sex store,” Doe texted.
Rose told them they were on their on to get some.
“Naw I don’t,” he texted back. “U will have to find some.”
The ecstasy and sex toy references are a point of major contention because it appears that lawyers for the accused left out those and other “exculpatory” text messages.
Rose’s attorney Mark Baute announced in open court before the jury was brought in that the trio of texts were the “most exculpatory evidence” because, he said, it shows the accuser requested payment for a sex belt and a cab ride from that evening totalling $269.
The accuser’s attorney Waukeen McCoy tried to counter that he and his team offered all text messages, but the judge scolded him for mishandling all the exhibits in the case as “quite careless” and led him to consider calling for a mistrial.
The scene brought attorneys on both sides to come close to physical blows as witnessed by The Daily Beast on the final day of Rose’s testimony.
Once Doe and her friend arrived at Rose’s Beverly Hills pad the tequila was apparently flowing. But while the accuser claimed Allen poured shots, Rose, Allen and Hampton all testified it was Doe that was doing the bartender honors.
“[She] was pouring the Don Julio,” Allen said. “Each of the fellas had two shots.” And the consensus was Doe drank only “two shots.”
Rose claimed then Doe “gave me some oral sex by the pool.” He even said that he had only joined in after she was having sex with Hampton from behind by the poolside cabana.
“I stopped because I felt like Randall and her were really getting into it — then I went to my room.”
That was followed up with a series of early morning texts from Doe, asking for Rose to come to her for more sex. At 1:40 a.m. Doe texted Rose: “...I left my belt and my shit n yo bathroom. And u need to come to me right now.”
Rose offered to send one of his guys to her home with the missing things, but Doe refused, texting: “...I want you here, too.”
“We on our way,” Rose texted back.
By 2:19 a.m., Allen texted Doe to her that “Derris [sic] is coming to we’ll call you wen we’re outside.” Thirty minutes later they were idling by her apartment complex and Allen texted: “We outside… Wake yo ass up.”
In his deposition Allen said that he brought along the bottle of Astroglide lubricant and condoms for “group sex” with Doe.
“We had sex with her back at the [Beverly Hills] place, so I figured, I mean, we should bring condoms just in case we stayed at her place,” Allen said. “These messages indicated she wanted to have group sex at some point.”
Once Rose and company entered Doe’s apartment at around 3 a.m. she was calling the shots, they said.
Doe’s attorney McCoy said the men were “running a train” on his client. Rose said Allen went into her room first while “me and Randall went to sit on the couch.”
Allen said they all had engaged in sex one at a time for “45 minutes to an hour” before they left.
While they were in the throes of sex, Allen said during his deposition Doe stopped and “grabbed a vibrator, a little pink vibrator.” After sex, Allen said he hugged and kissed Doe before “throwing away the condom wrappers and stuff like that.”
Rose was taught to take his used condom with him at the NBA’s rookie camp in Orlando, Florida, he testified.
“No way I was going to leave a condom anywhere around her apartment. I was trained to do it,” Rose said.
When they drove off Rose remembered how Allen and Hampton ribbed him for pocketing the condom. “I mean someone carries a condom out of the house, it was just funny.”
“I just blacked out,” the accuser said during her deposition. “My legs were full of lubricant. Like that would never have happened … if I hadn’t allowed myself to black out.”
When Doe started texting him about how her hands were blistered (or as she texted they “bubbled up”) and wanted answers Rose started to think the fix was in.
She testified that she took Rose and his childhood friends to court to hold them “accountable” not to cash in on millions. “The issue was never about money,” she said. I never wanted money.”
Still when she was brought back to the stand after the judge permitted a second cross-examination to avoid a mistrial Doe struggled to make sense of her actions.
Pressed about the content of the suggestive text messages before the fateful night in question — asking for ecstasy, saying she was “horny” for Rose, and requesting a reimbursement for the pink sex belt and cab fare — Doe seemed to say that wasn’t her.
“I don’t text that way,” she said.
The defense would paint her as a money-grubbing woman trying to cash in for her own sexual slights. In fact, when Doe failed to concede that she wasn’t in a relationship with Rose, Baute seemed to wonder if she was ever sober.
“Is that because you were blackout drunk the whole summer?” he asked.
In her deposition, Doe stressed that before she leveled the point guard with a lawsuit, he’d ignore her texts until she brought up money issues.
“I just wanted to talk to him. And the only reason – the only way he would respond to me is when I asked him about money,” Doe said.
“I didn't wish him any harm, I wanted him to be accountable,” she testified in court.
And Doe wasn’t laughing the morning after or today where she has since left L.A. to live with relatives in Northern California and struggling to stay focused while enrolled in college ecourses.
The trial ultimately came down to consent, with the jury even instructed on the meaning of the word.
At no time did Doe ever stop him or say “no,” Rose stressed while he testified in court.
“She seemed to enjoy it,” he added.
Rose did acknowledge after being pressed that there is nothing in the text messages spelling out consent. But that in the moment when he and his two pals were taking turns with her she never hit the sex brakes.
“She could have told me no,” he said.
At trial she merely said that she “couldn’t recall” if she ever tried to stop any of the trio having sex with her in the bedroom of her apartment.
Consent and Rose’s understanding proved to be a sticky subject throughout trial. In his deposition, Rose struggled to define what constitutes consent.
“No, but can you tell me?’ The questioner: ‘I just wanted to know if you had an understanding.’
Rose admitted at that time: “No.”
When he testified last Tuesday he seemed to amend that.
“At the time I didn’t understand the context of the sentence, but I do.”
And his attorney Baute gave Rose a second layup of a question to define consent and Rose understood.
“Consent to have sex [means] both parties have to agree.”
Now a seasoned NBA vet, Rose mastered how to clean up condoms after casual sex, but as for consent it may have been merely a footnote until he was accused of rape.
Editor's Note: This story was updated with Rose's post-trial posing with jurors.