A jury has found a former Denver Broncos player not guilty on two counts of sexual assault.The verdict was announced just before 11 a.m. Friday.Perrish Cox had pleaded not guilty to one count of sexual assault while the victim was physically helpless and one count of sexual assault while the victim was incapable of determining the nature of the conduct.When the judge announced the verdict, Cox jumped up and hugged his attorney, knocking over several chairs.The alleged victim started crying and left the courtroom.The jury deliberated about five-and-a-half hours on Thursday and Friday before announcing the not guilty verdicts.Cox did not testify in his defense."It is a terrible, terrible situation," Cox's attorney, Harvey Steinberg, said after the verdict. "There are no winners and no losers in this situation. It is a terrible, terrible situation.""We know this has been a very difficult situation for her (the accuser)," Steinberg said. "It's been a very difficult situation for Mr. Cox. We're thankful that it's over.""Obviously we believed in this case; thats why we prosecuted it," said Deputy District Attorney Chris Gallo. Law enforcement always has been, always will be there to protect people who have been hurt.Steinberg indicated that he will petition to seal Cox's criminal justice records under a Colorado statute that says "if the court finds that the harm to the privacy of the petitioner or dangers of unwarranted adverse consequences to the petitioner outweigh the public interest in retaining the records, the court may order such records, except basic identification information, to be sealed."
Prosecutors said the evidence was straightforward: The alleged victim told authorities she didn't remember having sex the night she spent at Cox's Lone Tree apartment, over Labor Day weekend 2010.However, the woman became pregnant and DNA indicated Cox was the father.Cox's defense attorney told jurors the alleged victim and another woman who had gone to Cox's apartment were "party girls," they were drinking, and they didn't remember many parts of that night, including possibly having sex with each other or with Cox."You may not like what happened that night. But thats not what were here for. No one really knows or they dont want to know," Steinberg said. "You might say he lied about sex. There may be a long line of distinguished and undistinguished individuals whove followed suit. That doesnt make them rapists."The Broncos released Cox last September, citing his on-field performance.