Former Baylor player Sam Ukwuachu's rape conviction overturned

Dr. Saturday
(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

The rape conviction of former Baylor defensive end Sam Ukwuachu has been overturned after an appeal.

Ukwuachu’s attorneys appealed the August 2015 conviction of the Boise State transfer, who was found guilty of raping a female soccer player at the school in October of 2013. The appeal was based on an argument regarding text messages used as evidence in the case.

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From KWTX:

The ruling said: “In six issues, Ukwuachu complains that the trial court erred by allowing the State to reference the cell phone records of his roommate during its cross-examination of his roommate and his roommate’s friend, that the indictment was defective, that evidence of an extraneous offense was improperly admitted, that his due process rights were violated due to an abuse of the grand jury process by the State, and that text messages between the victim and a friend of hers the night of the alleged offense were improperly excluded …”

“Because we find that the trial court erred by disallowing the admission of evidence … we reverse the judgment of conviction and remand this proceeding for a new trial,” the order said.

KWTX’s report notes that Ukwuachu’s lawyers also argued there was a discrepancy on the timestamps of text messages used as evidence.

Ukwuachu, who wasn’t indicted until June 2014, was convicted 18 months ago on the same day a lengthy report in Texas Monthly magazine detailed the way the accusation against him was mishandled. The woman testified that Ukwuachu forced her to have sex in his apartment after he picked her up from her apartment.

The defensive end never played for Baylor after transferring from Boise State and a Baylor investigation into the incident didn’t find any wrongdoing. Former Baylor coach Art Briles had previously said he was unaware of abuse allegations vs. Ukwuachu by his girlfriend at Boise State before his transfer and claimed then-Boise State coach Chris Petersen never passed the info on.

Nine months after Ukwuachu’s conviction, an independent report detailed the way Baylor poorly dealt with sexual assault allegations. The report’s findings led to Briles’ firing and other school administrators resigning.

If there are no further appeals, Ukwuachu could be set for a re-trial. Prosecutors can appeal this ruling to a higher appeals court.

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Nick Bromberg is the editor of Dr. Saturday and From the Marbles on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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