Perrish Cox was arrested in 2010 for felony sexual assault. He was found not guilty. These are both important facts. A person is not guilty because they are charged, this is why we have the justice system and “innocent until proven guilty” is the backbone of it. Cox will never spend a day in prison for the crime he was charged with in 2010 and for that we have to respect the rules of the courts and the reasonable doubt that set him free.
But why the hell did the Seahawks need to sign him to a contract on Wednesday given the strong case accusing him and Demaryius Thomas of giving women the date rape drug and then Cox impregnating one of them while she was asleep?
On September 5, 2010, according to the narrative, Doe, Smith and several other women gathered at a friend's home to prepare for an evening of revelry at Club Beta, the locale of a Labor Day weekend event called "White Party." They recall having one drink apiece before being driven to the bash, and a small number more over the course of several hours, before connecting with Cox and Thomas and being invited to a private VIP area at the club for "bottle service."
There, the suit claims that they were surprised when presented with lemon-drop shots, which Cox and Thomas urged them to down. Doe, who's said to have been "deliberately limiting her alcohol consumption because she had a modeling shoot out of state the following work week and wanted to minimize any excess weight or bloating," nonetheless concurred -- and shortly thereafter, both of them became "incapacitated" despite having glugged too little booze to have left them in that condition, the complaint maintains.
Doe is said to have been so disoriented after the lemon drop that she walked away from her group and was found "wandering the streets of lower downtown Denver" by Cox and Thomas. As for Smith, who also caught a ride with the players, she reportedly has no memory of anything between being at the club and vomiting in Cox's bathroom. The suit claims these symptoms are consistent with the consumption of "date rape drugs" such as GHB, "a drug of choice and easily obtained by NFL athletes," the suit allows.
Back at Cox's place, Doe remembers kissing and being genitally fondled by Thomas on an air mattress he used as a crash pad before passing out. Thomas confirmed that she lost consciousness during "sexual contact" during a conversation with police, the suit argues. But on the stand at Cox's trial, he changed his tune to assert that he had stopped his actions because he was a gentleman and the air mattress and circumstances weren't sufficiently romantic.
An unconscious Doe was allegedly transferred from the air mattress to Cox's bedroom, with Thomas testifying that he'd told Cox she was "ready" -- for intercourse with the latter, presumably. Due to this statement and Doe's condition, among other things, the suit states that Thomas should be held partly responsible for what happened next. "In the early morning hours of September 6, 2010," the document says, "one or more men ejaculated into the vagina of Doe, who was physically incapacitated and unconscious."
DNA proved that Cox had in fact impregnated Doe.
Thomas testified that in practice after that night, defensive back Cassius Vaughn, who was Cox's roommate at the time of the incident, told Thomas that when he left early that morning, he missed some "girl on girl action" between the alleged victim and Che [that's Cathy Che, who Cox had been dating].
At a preliminary trial, a judge had ruled that this detail was inadmissible in trial under rape-shield laws, because a jury is not supposed to consider a rape victim's sexual history. But the Denver Post's Mike Klis reports that Thomas brought it up because a prosecuting attorney asked him why he had repeatedly texted the alleged victim the day after the incident. Thomas said it was because of what Vaughn had told him.
The accuser and Che's alleged sexual interaction, once barred from the trial, now helped Steinberg imply more happened that night than the alleged victim reported or was aware of. The alleged victim didn't help her case by reportedly deleting several text messages from Thomas discussing the alleged "girl on girl action."
Reasonable doubt that Cox did not rape the woman was all he needed to go free, and it seems Steinberg built a mountain of it out of this detail. He was then able to portray the alleged victim as a functional drinker capable of interacting with others while intoxicated without remembering it. The alleged victim also testified that she wouldn't have considered it rape if she had learned the following day she had sex with Thomas. She was willing to unknowingly have sex with him, but not Cox.
Thomas testified that the alleged victim may not have passed out, but simply fell asleep. She was also unable to be tested for date-rape drugs she believes she was given because she waited too long to visit a doctor and was never given a date-rape kit.
The prosecution's entire case hinged on the science, which was enough to show that Cox lied about having sex with the alleged victim, and possibly to convict him in the public eye. But as Steinberg said, Cox was not on trial for lying.
Steinberg wasn't trying to prove Cox is a good person or even that he didn't have sex with a woman who was not her normal self. He was simply creating reasonable doubt that Cox sexually assaulted a woman incapable of appraising her own condition.
You can believe what you want to believe and make arguments one way or another about what happened that night and what it all means, but why in the world did the Seahawks need to add it to the team right now? Cox is being signed as insurance after the injury to DeShawn Shead, one would presume, and nothing more. He probably won’t even make the team. He may not even make it to minicamp. He was released by the Titans in November after a horrid game against the Bears. He was briefly on the team in 2013 during their Super Bowl won and apparently Pete Carroll thought enough of him then to bring him back, but why? How does this help the team? How does it make it worth it to add a person with such a shady background when he’s probably not even a football player worth keeping around? Not that I think that you should forgive rape for being an athlete, but it does happen in the NFL and other walks of life.
I don’t know how you can justify this move. Demaryius Thomas’ role in this should also not be forgotten.