[CW: The following article details reports of sexual assault]
According to the Forth Worth Star-Telegram UFC welterweight Abdul Razak Alhassan was found not guilty of sexual assault on Friday. Alhassan had been accused of raping two intoxicated women on March 23rd, 2018 and was indicted on September 24th, 2018.
Testimony in Alhassan’s trial began in Tarrant County, TX on Tuesday. A court heard from a woman who was 20-years-old at the time she accused Alhassan of raping her and her 22-year-old friend.
That woman testified that Alhassan took her and her friend to her house, after a night of heavy drinking at a nightclub where Alhassan worked as a bouncer. In her testimony the woman said that, although she did not see Alhassan, she was raped by him in her bedroom while the rest of her family slept close by. That woman said she then witnessed Alhassan rape her friend who was sleeping on a separate bed in the same room.
The other woman did not testify at trial. After the night in question she was taken to a Forth Worth hospital where a sexual assault exam was conducted.
Alhassan’s DNA was discovered on biological samples collected from each of the victims.
The court also heard from Joshua Yates, an off-duty police officer who was at the club on the same night the two women met Alhassan. Yates said that Alhassan was watching the women as they danced and that, at one point, Alhassan told him, “if you don’t hit that, I will.”
Surveillance footage from the club showed Alhassan kissing one of his accusers. Witnesses reported that Alhassan was seen loading both women into a vehicle later that night.
The jury was shown a video of Alhassan being interviewed by police. During that video Alhassan told an investigator that he had consensual sex with just one of the women. He said the other woman was in the room passed out while he was having sex. He said he did not have sex with that second woman.
In closing arguments Alhassan’s defense attorney Terri Moore asked the jury, “How many lies are you willing to let them tell? The answer should be not one single lie.”
Moore questioned why the accusers waited a week after the alleged assault before reporting anything to the police. Moore also suggested that one of the women had a jealous and abusive boyfriend and that these accusations were made up for his benefit.
“Each and every thing (the victims) talk about shows up in the evidence,” responded Tarrant County prosecutor Kimberly D’Avignon in her remarks to the jury. “These girls are not criminal masterminds, and they are not Oscar-winning actresses. They were telling the truth, and the truth is that they did not want to be here.”
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram claimed that Alhassan was emotional outside of the courthouse after his acquittal and that he ‘angrily pointed a finger at the courtroom’ and claimed that police had botched the investigation into these allegations.
Alhassan was reportedly calmed by a group that included his wife, friends and coaches. One of those coaches, Steven Wright, said Alhassan was communicating with his manager and that they expect him to fight in the UFC in the next two months. Alhassan is represented by Ali Abdelaziz’s Dominance MMA.
Alhassan first fought for the UFC in 2016. After defeating Charlie Ward in his debut he lost to Omari Akhmedov. After that bout he won his next three contests, the most recent of which took place at UFC 228 in September, 2018 — weeks before his indictment.
Survivors of sexual assault can find support via the following organizations:
US – Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN)’s National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline 1-800-656-HOPE (4673). RAINN also has an online chat service.
Love is Respect, 1-866-331-9474. They can also be reached via online chat or by texting LOVEIS to 22522.
End Rape on Campus (EROC), 1-424-777-EROC (3762).
Canada – Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of Crime, 1-877-232-2610.
UK – UK Says No More.
Rest of the World – International Rape Crisis Hotlines.
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