Fans of the University of Missouri men's basketball team have likely heard about criminal allegations leveled against a member of the team. Despite the allegations, prosecutors recently decided not to file charges of rape against the former player.
The player in question is a senior and is currently on indefinite suspension from the team. A female student contacted the police and reported that the player had non-consensual intercourse with her.
According to the student, she invited the player to her apartment to get to know him better. She reported that a forcible rape occurred after the basketball player arrived at her apartment. There had been an exchange of text messages after the encounter, according to police.
A spokesperson for the local prosecutor's office said that they elected not to prosecute the player for the alleged sexual assault. The spokesperson said that the staff reviewed the evidence that the police brought to them and determined that there was not enough evidence to proceed with the case or find the player guilty.
The moral of this story is that an allegation does not equate to guilt -- in any type of criminal matter. In order to secure a conviction, the prosecution must prove the defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. In this case, the prosecution decided that they would be unable to meet that burden of proof.
When a person is facing charges that could forever tarnish their reputation and credibility, it is important to carefully evaluate all of the evidence provided by prosecutors and determine if there is anything that can expose flaws in their case. In this case, it is hoped that the accused player can finish out the basketball season and proceed with the rest of his life.
Source: Columbia Daily Tribune, "No charges filed after Dixon accused of rape," Steve Walentik, Nov. 27, 2012