Former LSU football player Charles Scott found not guilty of sexual battery
GONZALES, LA — After two days of testimony and arguments, a judge ruled former LSU star football player Charles Scott not guilty of sexual battery Wednesday.
Judge Jessie Leblanc took 20 minutes to deliberate, and used two sentences to explain her ruling.
Scott and his family celebrated loudly when Leblanc handed down her decision.
"I'm just ready to move on with my life and get ready for my career," Scott said. His family said several NFL teams have checked in on the running back, including one that called Tuesday.
Scott spent two seasons in the NFL before the allegations.
The state claimed that her impersonated another man to have sex with the victim against her will on November 12-13, 2011.
The alleged victim cried with her family after the verdict, and was consoled by the prosecutors.
"Devastation, of course," her mother, Myra Foret, said of their reaction. "I mean, that's not what we wanted to hear, it's not what we expected to hear, because there was enough evidence to prove her, that she was right."
The defense argued that the accuser's story changed over time. They claimed she initially told investigators she had "been drinking," that night, but later admitted to having been so drunk she blacked out.
Judge Leblanc mentioned that inconsistent testimony from several witnesses factored into her decision. She said also said the DNA evidence did not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Scott raped the alleged victim.
Surveillance video showed Scott with his accuser at Bogie's Bar on the night of November 12, 2011. She alleged that he poured approximately four drinks for her, then drove her and another man to the house Scott was living at in Prairieville. The woman and the other man had consensual sex, but when the man left the room, Scott allegedly walked in, claimed to be that man, and began having sex with her. She testified that she realized the difference after a couple moments and told Scott to stop, but he refused. She told the court he finally stopped a few minutes later, grabbed her, and shoved her out the door onto the street.
"The victim gave statements that were consistent, from the time that it originally happened through (Wednesday)," said District Attorney Ricky Babin. "There was some minor inconsistencies in some other witnesses. With that and the DNA, I really couldn't find (one specific reason), I really couldn't tell you."
Even though her son was freed, Phyllis Scott knew that her joy meant misery for the alleged victim's family. She hoped both her son and his accuser would be able to move on.
"I just pray that she can have a successful life, in whatever she chooses to do," Phyllis Scott said. "That she will be happy in whatever she chooses to do. I pray for that family, and I hope and pray that both of them, everybody involved, will learn something from this."
Charles Scott faced up to 10 years in prison if he had been convicted.
Foret said her daughter will pursue a civil case. The family still believes Scott committed a heinous act and needs to be held accountable.