Jury clears NBA's Derrick Rose on all charges in civil rape trial

Jurors have cleared NBA star Derrick Rose and two friends in a lawsuit that accused them of gang raping his ex-girlfriend when she was incapacitated from drugs or alcohol.

A Los Angeles jury ruled Wednesday that New York Knicks point guard Derrick Rose and his two friends should not be held liable on any charges in a high-stakes, hotly contested civil trial in which the three men were accused of drugging Rose’s ex-girlfriend, breaking into her apartment and gang-raping her while she was unconscious. The jury reached the verdict in federal court in Los Angeles after hearing dramatically different accounts of the August 2013 sexual encounter. Jurors later posed for photographs with Rose one at a time in the courthouse lobby. Rose says he's thankful the jury rejected the lawsuit. He said in a statement to the Associated Press that it was important to prove he did not do what he was accused of, even though he had to share private details of his personal life.

I am thankful that the jury understood and agreed with me. This experience and my sensitivity to it was deep. I am ready to put this behind me and focus on my family and career.

Derrick Rose

Neither side denied the three men had sex with the woman, but the issue was whether she consented or was too intoxicated to do so. Defense lawyers tarred the woman as a liar who tried to sway jurors through her tears to get at Rose's fortune. They claimed she was angry he had dumped her and she set him up and brought the lawsuit in hopes of a big payoff. The woman's lawyer called the men "sexual deviants" and said they conspired to gang-rape her after she was drunk and incapable of consenting to sex. The woman, who became emotional and trembled while testifying, had sought $21.5 million when she filed suit, but her attorney did not put a price on the case Tuesday during closing arguments, saying it was up to the jury.

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Rose, 28, was traded to New York this year after spending seven seasons in his native Chicago, where he won Rookie of the Year honors with the Bulls and was the youngest player to be awarded MVP in 2011. He has been plagued with knee injuries the past few seasons and is in the final year of a five-year deal that will pay him $21.3 million this season.