A Philadelphia Eagles offensive lineman who was accused of rape and kidnapping was discovered not responsible on Friday by a jury in Guernsey County, Ohio.
The lineman, Joshua Sills, 25, was indicted in February on first-degree felony counts of kidnapping and rape stemming from an episode in December 2019, when, prosecutors mentioned, Sills allegedly “engaged in sexual activity that was not consensual and held a victim against her will.”
The jury reached its choice after a trial that started on Tuesday. The case was offered by prosecutors from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.
“Thank you for everything you have done,” Sills mentioned, addressing the jury within the courthouse on Friday in a trial that was televised.
Michael Connick, a lawyer for Sills, mentioned on Friday that the acquittal ended a “four-year nightmare for the Sills family.”
The Ohio legal professional basic, Dave Yost, mentioned in a statement on Friday that “I still believe the victim.”
“But in America, criminal convictions require proof beyond a reasonable doubt,” Yost mentioned. “The jury did not see it, and I thank them for doing their duty under the law.”
The trial included testimony from Brooke Bing, a good friend of the lady who accused Sills, who recalled being out at a bar one night time with a gaggle that included Sills.
After the night time out, Bing mentioned she talked to the lady who accused Sills, who advised her that, “Josh raped her,” referring to Sills.
“She tried hard to fight back,” Bing mentioned. “She showed me the marks from where his hands were holding her down.”
After the indictment in early February, Sills was issued a summons to seem in courtroom on Feb. 16, 4 days after the Eagles have been scheduled to play the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LVII in Glendale, Ariz.
Sills was signed by the Eagles in 2022 as an undrafted free agent. As of Friday afternoon, he was listed on the N.F.L. commissioner’s exempt record, that means he couldn’t play with the group.
It was not instantly clear on Friday if Sills would play after his acquittal. Executives within the entrance workplace for the Philadelphia Eagles didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.
Sills, an offensive guard, appeared briefly in a single sport on particular groups for the Eagles in 2022.
He spent the primary 4 years of his school soccer profession at West Virginia University earlier than transferring to Oklahoma State University.