Stillwater, Okla. • A judge on Friday delayed sentencing for a former Oklahoma State basketball player convicted of sexual assaulting two women at an off-campus party so he can consider a motion for a new trial.
Darrell Williams, 22, was convicted last month of sexual battery and two counts of rape by instrumentation and was set to be sentenced on Friday. Jurors recommended one-year prison sentences for each of the rape counts. Williams was also acquitted of two additional counts of rape by instrumentation.
Judge Phillip Corley set a Sept. 14 hearing to consider Williams’ motion for a new trial.
Prosecutors claim Williams groped two women at party after a home game in December 2010.
Defense attorneys claimed Williams was misidentified. As many as 80 people were at the party, including some of Williams’ teammates who wore matching Oklahoma State warm-up suits. During Williams’ trial, defense attorney Cheryl Ramsey also noted that neither woman suffered cuts or scratches and none of their clothing was torn.
At trial, one woman said Williams held her against her will and dragged her in a yard. She said the attack happened in the basement of the house and that no one came to her aid.
“It made me feel violated and sick to my stomach,” she testified.
Several websites and Facebook pages have popped up in support of Williams and one online petition urging the judge to suspend his sentence and set him free has garnered more than 1,700 signatures.
Williams’ supporters have long been skeptical of the prosecution’s case because it was built mainly on testimony from the two women and not physical evidence, such as a rape kit or DNA analysis.
The player’s family insists Williams, who is black, is the victim of misidentification by the white women at the party and of racial profiling by a jury of 11 whites and one Asian member who were picked from a largely white jury pool.
One of the women told The Associated Press ahead of the sentencing that she’s infuriated by the people who are “blindly” supporting Williams “without knowing the facts of what happened that night.”
“They don’t know what happened to me and the other girl,” she said.
The AP typically does not identify victims of sexual assault.
She also blasted some of Williams’ supporters who believe race played a role in his conviction or that she and the other victim had something to gain by coming forward.
“That’s ignorance for people to say this is a race thing,” she said. “It’s not about race; it’s about rape. He raped two girls.”