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 stated, Sills allegedly “engaged in sexual exercise that was not consensual and held a sufferer in opposition to her will.”
The jury reached its determination after a trial that started on Tuesday. The case was offered by prosecutors from the Ohio Legal professional Common’s Workplace.
“Thanks for all the pieces you will have executed,” Sills stated, addressing the jury within the courthouse on Friday in a trial that was televised.
Michael Connick, a lawyer for Sills, stated on Friday that the acquittal ended a “four-year nightmare for the Sills household.”
The Ohio lawyer normal, Dave Yost, stated in a press release on Friday that “I nonetheless imagine the sufferer.”
“However in America, legal convictions require proof past an inexpensive doubt,” Yost stated. “The jury didn’t see it, and I thank them for doing their responsibility underneath the legislation.”
The trial included testimony from Brooke Bing, a pal of the girl who accused Sills, who recalled being out at a bar one evening with a bunch that included Sills.
After the evening out, Bing stated she talked to the girl who accused Sills, who informed her that, “Josh raped her,” referring to Sills.
“She tried laborious to battle again,” Bing stated. “She confirmed me the marks from the place his palms had been holding her down.”
After the indictment in early February, Sills was issued a summons to seem in court docket on Feb. 16, 4 days after the Eagles had been scheduled to play the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs in Tremendous 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 checklist, which 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 recreation on particular groups for the Eagles in 2022.
He spent the primary 4 years of his faculty soccer profession at West Virginia College earlier than transferring to Oklahoma State College.