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The specifics of the Derrick Rose rape case, as explained by lawyers

A woman is filing a civil suit accusing Derrick Rose and his friends of gang rape. As we near the trial, here’s why a settlement hasn’t happened ... yet.

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It has been more than a year since a woman filed a civil suit against New York Knicks point guard Derrick Rose alleging he and two of his close friends drugged her, trespassed into her apartment and gang raped her while she was unconscious on Aug. 27, 2013. The case is set to go to trial on Oct. 4.

As Oct. 4 nears, media attention is picking up on a case that has largely been uncovered until now. The accuser, known as Jane Doe, had made no public comments until this week, when she spoke to media individually and later held a press conference Thursday. Here is the full complaint by the accuser, per Deadspin.

Leading up to that night

According to the suit, Rose met Doe in Los Angeles during the NBA lockout in October 2011, where they eventually began an “intimate relationship.”

In several instances, Rose’s defense has attempted to paint the accuser as the “sexual aggressor” on that evening. They even cite photos on her Instagram that are “sexual in nature” as an argument to reveal her identity. From Rose’s motion for a dismissal based on the plaintiff’s use of a pseudonym:

Of special note, Plaintiff is publicly portraying herself as sexual. The production includes photos from Plaintiff’s Instagram account that are sexual in nature. In these images, Plaintiff is dressed in provocative attire, is in sexually suggestive poses, and is in photographs indicating that she engages in sexually charged encounters with more than one man at a time. Plaintiff’s use of twitter and other forms of social media further belies her apparent desire for anonymity.

This is a common tactic for the defense in trials involving sexual crimes, even if it shouldn’t have any bearing on the case. Unfortunately, juries are usually less willing to side with accusers who have longer sexual histories.

“Ordinary jurors have proven to be less protective of women who they deem less than sexually pure or pristine or virtuous, than what they would consider so called ‘good girls,’ or so called ‘virtuous women,’” Jody David Armour, a professor of law at the University of Southern California, told SB Nation. “That double standard can really hurt complaining witnesses.”

The judge allowed Doe’s identity to be revealed to those in the courtroom, but bluntly rejected Rose’s request for Doe’s identity to be revealed publicly.

“Defendant Rose appears to suggest that women who publicly portray themselves as ‘sexual’ are less likely to experience embarrassment, humiliation and harassment associated with gang rape,” wrote Michael W. Fitzgerald, the federal judge of the United States District Court for the Central District of California. “Such rhetoric has no place in this Court.”

In reality, Doe and her lawyers believe this “slut shaming” defense comes completely from Rose’s defense team.

“If you read the testimony of Mr. Rose, he clearly doesn’t indicate that she’s a gold digger or out for his money. They dated for a year and a half, almost two years, and if he thought that, he would have said it in his deposition or mentioned it somewhere else,” said Waukeen McCoy, one of Doe’s lawyers, in a Wednesday interview with ThinkProgress. “These accusations are coming from his lawyers.”

McCoy went on to say that Rose was unable to define “consent” when asked in his deposition, responding, “No, can you tell me?”

“It’s why Derrick could, honestly, if you made him pass a lie detector test, he could pass it,” said Katherine Redmond Brown, one of Doe’s other primary lawyers, in the same interview. “Because he doesn’t see what he did as wrong. That is simply how his culture functions.”

In his own testimony, Rose stated that he repeatedly asked for group sex during their relationship and was refused by the defendant.

According to Doe’s complaint, Doe began having serious doubts about their relationship when she visited Chicago in May 2013. There she learned about Rose’s son and found out Rose had a Chicago girlfriend after believing their relationship was exclusive. She did not end the relationship when he returned to Los Angeles, though, because she “still had feelings for Rose and naively assumed that he could resume a normal, one-on-one relationship.”

It was only after Doe refused Rose’s requests for group sex that he purportedly broke off their relationship, texting her, “We good but I’m not messing wit u like that anymore,” sometime in July 2013.

Rose requesting sexual activities that Doe refused was part a consistent pattern in their relationship. Rose had also bought Doe a laptop computer and asked her to masturbate for him over webcam, something she refused and said she did not feel comfortable doing, according to the complaint.

What we know about that night

On Aug. 26, 2013, Rose invited Doe and a friend to his home in Beverly Hills. Because the car Rose sent arrived hours late, Doe and the friend consumed a significant amount of alcohol before arriving. She and the friend continued drinking at Rose’s house, where Doe says Rose drugged her in a premeditated plan with two of his friends, Randall Hampton and Ryan Allen. Hampton and Allen are the other two defendants named in the complaints.

Later in the evening, the friend refused to leave without Doe coming with her. They both left via cab, and the friend helped Doe return home, where she said she was “extremely incapacitated,” threw up in the bathroom and could “barely make it to the bed,” per the complaint.

Doe and Rose texted that night, including Doe texting Rose, “u need to come to me right now.” Rose, Hampton and Allen showed up at Doe’s apartment, but from 2:05 a.m. onward, she stopped responding to Rose. The evidence of texts and calls between the two in the early morning hours of Aug. 27, 2013, are compiled by ThinkProgress.

The question of consent

At one point, Rose, Hampton and Allen are let into Doe’s apartment, or find their way in. In Rose’s account, she lets them in and they have consensual group sex. Notably, this is the first time she has consented to group sex when with Rose, according to Rose.

In Doe’s account, she has only brief memories of the evening. In flashes, she remembers all three men raping her without consent, and she woke up the next morning with her dress “up around her neck,” lubricant “all over her body,” used condoms in the room and internal pain in her vagina, per the complaint.

Rose’s own toxicologist agrees that Doe had a BAC level around 0.20 that evening, 2.5 times the legal driving limit. When asked why he and his two friends went to Doe’s apartment after Doe stopped responding, Rose gave this answer in a deposition, per ThinkProgress.

Q: So they just said, ‘Hey, it’s the middle of the night. Let’s go over to Plaintiff’s house’ and they never gave you a reason why they wanted to go over there?’

Rose: No, but we men. You can assume.

Q: I’m sorry?

Rose: I said we men. You can assume. Like we leaving to go over to someone’s house at 1:00, there’s nothing to talk about.

Doe’s roommate said there was a man she didn’t recognize in the living room when she returned that night, but she was also intoxicated and immediately went to bed without understanding the situation.

This is not a criminal trial

Doe and Rose’s legal dispute is a civil one, not a criminal prosecution. Doe was encouraged to file criminal charges against Rose after the night where she said Rose raped her, but she felt “ashamed and embarrassed” and feared Rose was “monitoring her cell phone.” Rose has not yet been charged with any crime.

California has a six-year statute of limitation on criminal charges for sexual crimes, compared to just two years in civil court, so it is still possible that criminal charges could be brought against Rose. However, there is a higher standard of proof to meet and Doe has little in the way of material evidence, such as a rape kit.

“(In civil court), the plaintiff only has to prove, to a jury’s satisfaction, that his or her allegations are more likely that not true,” Armour said. “Just somewhat more likely than not is sufficient. It doesn’t have to clear the bar by much.”

That Doe hasn’t pursued criminal charges is something that Rose’s lawyers may use in their defense.

"The fact that she proceeded civilly will probably be used against her," said John Donohue, a Professor of Law at Stanford Law School. "The lawyers for Derrick Rose will probably say, 'If you were really raped, you would have gone to the police.'"

McCoy, however, described how the civil trial could lead to a criminal case in a recent interview with ThinkProgress.

I want to talk about criminal vs. civil case. The standards are different. The investigator wants to make sure they have a tight case before they charge anyone. Because he’s a high-profile athlete, they want to make sure all their ducks are in a row. Their standard is beyond a reasonable doubt, instead of a civil case where it’s preponderance of the evidence. It’s not that he’s out of the woods on the criminal case. It’s just that they want to see how the evidence comes out in the civil trial, then they can act. It’s not over in the criminal realm, they just want to make sure their case is airtight.

Donohue said he has never seen a civil trial lead to a criminal trial in a manner described by Doe’s lawyers.

Doe eventually lost her job, which she attributes directly to the events of that night. She filed the civil suit on Aug. 26, 2015, exactly two years after that night. It was the final day she could file before the statute of limitations expired.

A settlement is still on the table

Doe’s suit alleges nine crimes, including sexual battery, battery, trespassing and conspiracy to trespass and commit rape. The accuser is asking for $6 million in compensatory damages and $15.5 million in punitive damages. However, there is still an opportunity for Rose and the accuser to settle the lawsuit out of court.

The trial is set to begin on Oct. 4. If the lawsuit goes to trial, Rose would miss a preseason game with the Knicks held on the same day, and any training camp going forward until the case is settled. That could give him incentive to settle with the accuser, rather than go to trial.

“There are a long list of reasons for witnesses to seek a settlement, even if they are innocent,” Armour said. “And those reasons are even stronger if they are guilty, because there’s a good chance the truth will come out.”

However, it appears Rose is not yet willing to settle, per Deadspin, even though Doe would prefer to end this case in that manner.