Minn. Players Cleared of Rape
Dec. 19, 2001
%mlink(STRY:; PHOTO:; AUDIO:%)
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) _ Two Minnesota football players were acquitted of raping a woman at the team dormitory this summer.
The jury deliberated for less than three hours Tuesday before deciding Steven M. Watson, 19, and Mackenzy Toussaint, 20, were innocent.
A female student, 20, accused the two men of sexual assault after they both made advances on her when she visited their dorm room July 6. During the four-day trial, lawyers for the defendants argued the woman consented to sex.
The woman waited two weeks before filing a complaint with university police. After an investigation, police filed first- and third-degree criminal sexual conduct charges against the two men in August.
The university allowed them to keep their athletic scholarships pending the outcome of the trial.
Watson, a defensive end from Defiance, Mo., is in his second year at Minnesota but has freshman eligibility after sitting out last season.
Toussaint, a cornerback from Miami, is a sophomore. During the 2000 season, he played in nine games as a backup cornerback and on special teams.