Lawsuit Against Derrick Rose to Move Forward

Derrick Rose A federal judge has denied a motion to dismiss a lawsuit alleging that professional basketball player Derrick Rose and his two friends drugged and gang-raped a woman. Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald said that a jury must decide whether the woman consented to the group sex.

The Accusation

According to the woman, she was in a relationship with Rose from 2011 until 2013, when she became uncomfortable with Rose’s requests for her to masturbate and to engage in sex with others on Skype. The two broke up, but remained in contact.

The woman claims that she was at a party at Rose’s Beverly Hills home one night when Rose and his two close friends, Randall Hampton and Ryan Allen, placed a drug in her drink. She left with her friend, but claims that the three men later broke into her apartment and sexually assaulted her when she was in an “incapacitated state of consciousness.”

Two years after the incident, the woman filed an anonymous civil complaint, alleging sexual battery, battery, trespass, conspiracy, gender violence, emotional distress and violation of the Ralph Act. She claimed that she did not file a criminal complaint because she felt embarrassed and feared retaliation.

The lawsuit seeks $6 million in compensatory damages and $15.5 million in punitive damages. 

The Response

Rose has denied the accusations, stating, “I know the truth, and am confident I will be proven innocent.” Rose maintains that the two were in a long-term relationship and says that on the night of the alleged rape, the woman sent him a text about a new “sex belt.” He also notes that the woman made no mention of the rape the following day. Rose claims that the woman only came up with the rape allegation because she was upset about a sex toy that she purchased and used on the night in question.

Rose’s attorney, Lisa Cohen, released a statement denying all allegations: “The plaintiff’s allegations are completely false and without any factual basis… This is nothing more than a desperate attempt to shake down a highly respected and successful athlete. Mr. Rose was in a non-exclusive, consensual sexual relationship with the plaintiff for over two years. The plaintiff expressed no complaints about Mr. Rose until various lawyers began to surface and demand that the plaintiff be paid millions of dollars. This is the third lawyer the plaintiff has retained in this matter. Two years have passed since Mr. Rose ended the consensual relationship with the plaintiff and her claims are as meritless now as they were two years ago.”

The women’s former roommate, Keyana LaVergne, was deposed and stated, "I believe Jane Doe's efforts to extort money from Derrick Rose based on sham allegations is unfair and inappropriate.” LaVergne became involved in the lawsuit when she released a series of text messages exchanged between her and the woman to the website www.balleralert.com.

The case is pending in California Central District Court as Case No. 2:15-cv-07503.

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