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Former Denver Broncos cornerback Perrish Cox was acquitted of criminal sexual assault charges by a jury verdict, but now Cox and Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas may face a civil lawsuit from the accuser, as noted by Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com. The woman will be allowed to file her civil suit anonymously in order to protect her identity -- according to CourthouseNews.com -- in a civil complaint for "sexual assault and battery, sexual abuse, unlawful sexual penetration, pregnancy, and other highly sensitive matters."
In a civil trial, the standard of proof is merely a preponderance of the evidence, which theoretically means anything greater than 50% of the evidence in support of the claim is sufficient, so Cox and Thomas could be facing a more difficult case, considering the woman is pregnant with a fetus whose DNA is a match to Cox.
Cox was originally arrested and charged criminally as a rookie during the 2010 season -- when he played in 15 games, starting nine, and amassed 58 tackles and one interception -- and he was released by the Broncos before the end of training camp in 2011.
On Friday, former Denver Broncos cornerback Perrish Cox was found not guilty on two counts of sexual assault in a jury trial. It took six hours over Thursday and Friday to deliberate and provide a verdict for the case.
Cox had been accused of sexually assaulting a female victim at his apartment after partying. The night in question came in Sept. 2010, while he wasn't arrested until Dec. 2010. He faced anywhere from two months to life in prison had he been convicted of sexual assault.
The alleged victim wound up pregnant and subsequent tests confirmed that the pregnancy occurred around the time of the incident. The tests also linked Cox to the pregnancy. However, the prosecution failed to make its case that this incident was forced. The alleged victim claimed she was drugged, but she failed to have the necessary tests done.
Cox was released by the Broncos before the end of training camp in 2011 and sat out the season. He was drafted by the Broncos in the fifth round of the 2010 NFL Draft.
For more on the Broncos, visit Mile High Report.
After months of legal battles to unseal court documents relating to alleged sexual assault case of Denver Broncos cornerback Perrish Cox, the Denver Post and the Associated Press won that case a few weeks ago when a Colorado State judge ruled in favor of the news organizations. While Cox's lawyers appealed the decision, the court documents were released on Friday afternoon when the State Supreme Court decided not to hear the case.
According to these new reports and documents, wide receiver Demaryius Thomas and defensive back Cassius Vaughn, both teammates, were with Cox at the party the night of the alleged incident, Sept. 5-6. The documents also relate a story from the reported victim of having contact with Thomas, but he supposedly left after she passed out. She claims she was drugged since she had only a few drinks.
The documents also reveal that the alleged victim became pregnant and that Cox is the father. When she learned she was pregnant in late October, she reported the incident to the police.
How this now plays out when selecting a jury will be something to watch in October.
On Monday morning, Denver Broncos defensive back Perrish Cox entered a not guilty plea on charges of sexual assault. His trial will take place on Oct. 18. If the NFL does have a season in 2011 before the trial begins, this will be the Tuesday after the Broncos have a bye on Oct. 16.
The alleged sexual assault took place on Sept. 6, 2010, but was not reported to police until Oct. 28. The charges against him carry up to a life sentence in prison. Documents relating to this case remain sealed because the presiding judge believed the alleged victim would be subject to harassment and that Cox would not be able to receive a fair trial.
In March, Cox's lawyer waived a preliminary hearing for fear that the jury pool would be influenced by the information that came out during it.
For more on the Broncos, visit Mile High Report.
Perrish Cox's preliminary hearing for his alleged sexual assault case has been waived by his lawyer following a judge's ruling that it would be open to the public, reports the Denver Post. Cox's lawyer wanted the preliminary hearing closed to the public because he believed the information released could prejudice the potential pool of jurors.
The court documents for the charges are sealed and a petition by the Denver Post and other media outlets to have them opened was rejected back in January.
Cox was arrested in Lone Tree, Colo. on the night of Dec. 9, 2010, for an alleged sexual assault that took place in early September. The sexual assault was reported to the police on Oct. 28.
Cox was a rookie during the 2010 season and played in 15 games, starting nine, and amassed 58 tackles and one interception. He missed the game in London with the San Francisco 49ers to recover from a concussion. Police were informed of the possible sexual-assault charge around that time.
Sealed documents in the sexual assault case against Denver Broncos cornerback Perrish Cox will remain that way, a judge ruled today. The New York Times, one of the actors with a reporter asking for the files to be made public, reports that Douglas County Judge Susanna Meissner-Cutler kept the documents sealed because the investigation had not yet been closed and that:
She also said she didn't want to subject the alleged victim to harassment and wanted to protect Cox's right to a fair trial.
In addition to the New York Times, the Denver Post and the Associate Press had reporters seeking the opening of these files. The Denver Post reports that the lawyer for the reporters argued on the grounds of First Amendment rights; however, the judge ultimately sided with the lawyer of the alleged victim, who argued her right to privacy would be violated with the release of the documents at this point.
This decision was ruled on during Cox's appearance in court on Friday. A March 10 court date will decide whether a trial for these charges of sexual assault will proceed.
A portion of the case unsealed by a Douglas County judge Tuesday shows the sexual assault charges are Class 3 and Class 4 felonies, which carry a sentence of between two years to life in prison. They involve a helpless victim.
Life in prison is only a possibility if Cox is convicted, but should he receive a lesser sentence probation would be required for a period of time or for life.
Also, more information on when the possible assault took place has emerged. Originally it was reported that the supposed incident was reported on Oct. 28, which led to speculation that this occurred while Cox was recovering from a concussion while his teammates were in London. We now learn that the alleged incident took place on Sept. 6, almost two months earlier.
Along with Associated Press, the Denver Post and the New York Times plan to seek further information on the charges against Cox.
Denver Broncos interim head coach Eric Studesville spoke to the media earlier today on Perrish Cox's arrest for alleged sexual assault. He called it, "A situation we take very, very seriously." He reiterated that the organization is gathering all the facts and other necessary information to determine future decisions concerning Cox.
While the alleged sexual assault was first reported on Oct. 28, Studesville said that Friday morning was the first he had heard of this incident. He did not go into further detail on the matter.
When asked how he felt about this incident emerging only two, three days after his elevation to head coach, Studesville stressed, "This is completely separate from football." It is a "serious matter" that should have no bearing on his new position with the Broncos. Personally, however, Studesville told the media that this was "disappointing news" so early into the job.
When asked about changing the demeanor of the team, Studesville said that it is up to owner Pat Bowlen to determine how this team goes forward.
Toward the end of the press conference, Studesville reiterated that the team still needs to evaluate cornerback Andre Goodman and safety Darcel McBath on Friday, though both have had limited participation in practice this week.
While Perrish Cox's status for Sunday's Denver Broncos game against the Arizona Cardinals has yet to be announced, the team will likely use D.J. Williams' Nov. 12 arrest for driving under the influence as a base for their decision. In that instance, the Broncos kept Williams out of first defensive series of the game. He then returned to the field at the start of the second defensive series.
Also related, cornerback Andre Goodman has had limited participation in practice this week and could start in place of Cox this weekend. However, we'll find out later today Goodman's final status for Sunday.
Thinking long term, Cox could face a league suspension if he is found guilty on these charges of sexual assault, which happened while Cox remained stateside to recover from a concussion. His teammates were in London for a game against the San Francisco 49ers.
Will the Broncos now make a strong push to re-sign Champ Bailey, who becomes a free agent at the end of the season?
In a developing story, the Denver Post's Mike Klis reports that the Denver Broncos' Perrish Cox was arrested on Thursday night for a possible sexual assault in Lone Tree. No details have emerged yet, but let's remember that he is innocent until proven guilty.
[UPDATE] The above-linked Post article now states that this incident was first brought to the attention of the Lone Tree police on Oct. 28.
According to a statement released by the Denver Broncos on Friday morning, the team is aware of the situation and following their process on such matters.
Cox played college football for the Oklahoma State Cowboys before being drafted by the Denver Broncos in the 5th round of the 2010 NFL Draft. Cox has played in 11 of the team's 12 games this season and accumulated 45 total tackles, a forced fumble and an interception. With all the injuries the Broncos have experienced this season, Cox has filled in as a starter and held his own.