The judge in New York Knicks guard Derrick Rose's civil sexual assault trial decided on Wednesday not to declare a mistrial. Rose's lawyers had argued that the accuser's lawyers had withheld three crucial text messages from the defense, but Judge Michael Fitzgerald said there was no evidence that the texts were intentionally hidden. The accuser will take the stand again to be questioned about the texts.
From the Los Angeles Times' Joseph Serna and Joel Rubin:
U.S. District Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald faulted the woman's legal team for not having provided the defense sooner with three text messages the woman sent to Rose around the time of the alleged assault, but the judge said the failure was not serious enough to call an end to the civil court trial.
Fitzgerald ruled that the woman could be questioned again by Rose's attorneys and that jurors would be told of the plaintiff's error.
Fitzgerald said the texts "could be viewed as favorable to the defense" and that telling jurors they weren't initially available to Rose's team would "cure that prejudice."
And from the New York Post's Julia Marsh:
Rose's attorney, Mark Baute, said this exchange was the "most probative text in the entire case," explaining that it prove's the defense's claim that the accuser was "upset about being dumped by texts so she mapped out a false rape charge because she wants and needs money."
"I want an outright dismissal for plaintiff and her legal team withholding the most exculpatory evidence for these three young black men," he argued.
The accuser's attorney, Brandon Anand, insists that he handed over the texts between November and December of 2015 but could not provide a "chain of custody."
"Any failure to produce the text was clearly inadvertent," he said, claiming that they "don't add anything new."
Fitzgerald agreed there was no evidence that the accuser withheld the texts.
"I have no evidence of that. I'm not going to declare a mistrial when we have a jury in the box," the judge said, adding that a potential mistrial ruling could be explored when the case wraps.
The texts in question were between Rose and the accuser, hours before the alleged gang rape at her apartment. The defense is arguing that they show that the woman intended to have sex with Rose that night, and her lawyer obviously disputes that interpretation.
The trial is continuing on Wednesday, with a toxicologist chosen by Rose's legal team taking the stand.
On Tuesday, an LAPD detective who had been investigating the case, Nadine Hernandez, was found with a gunshot wound and died at a hospital in Whittier, California.