Oklahoma State basketball player Darrell Williams pleaded not guilty to three charges of rape by instrumentation and another charge of sexual battery Monday in Payne County district court.
The charges stem from an incident on Dec. 13 in Stillwater and finally shed light on an investigation that had been hovering over the program for nearly two months, since word of the alleged assault first emerged.
Williams appeared in court and pleaded not guilty before being taken to the Payne County jail. Williams, 21 and a junior in his first season at OSU, posted a $5,000 bond and is scheduled to be back in court March 7 for a preliminary hearing.
Several OSU basketball players showed up at the Payne County courthouse to support Williams. J.P. Olukemi, Keiton Page, Nick Sidorakis, Markel Brown, Matt Pilgrim, Andy Shaw and assistant coach Chris Ferguson were among the members of the program to attend the hearing.
According to court documents obtained through an open records request, Williams is accused of raping two women at a private residence southeast of the Oklahoma State campus. The incident has been under investigation by Stillwater police since early December when an anonymous letter was sent to police over a claim of sexual assault at a party.
Police interviewed six other OSU basketball players during their investigation, though no charges were filed against any player other than Williams.
According to an affidavit filed by Stillwater police, also obtained through an open records request, one of the women reported Williams groped her and put his hands in her back pockets. A few minutes later, the woman realized she was missing money and her ID and asked Williams if he took them. Williams said no and offered to help look for them in the back yard of the residence.
According to the affidavit, the woman said Williams became more forceful once they were in the back yard and put his hands down her pants and underwear and told her to stop moving.
The second woman reported being sexually assaulted by several members of the OSU basketball team, but could only identify Williams and another man not on the team. According to the affidavit, the second woman also said Williams forced his hand into her pants and underwear.
Both women identified Williams in photo lineups.
“It goes without saying that we take the charges very seriously,” OSU basketball coach Travis Ford said in a statement Monday afternoon. “Darrell will not travel or play while the legal issues are addressed.”
Ford missed the Big 12 coaches’ teleconference Monday morning. Ferguson was on the call and said he did not know anything about the charges and that Ford was in a meeting.
Payne County assistant district attorney Tom Lee said in a news release that rape by instrumentation is a felony that can carry a sentence of one to 15 years in prison and that sexual battery is also a felony that can carry up to 10 years in prison.
The charges came just as Williams had been making his greatest impact as a Cowboy.
Williams, a transfer out of Chicago, was named the Big 12's newcomer of the week on Monday after leading the Cowboys to back-to-back wins over Missouri and Oklahoma. He has played in 23 games for OSU, averaging 7.1 points and 7.3 rebounds a game.
Two other people, who are not members of the OSU basketball team, are also facing charges stemming from the same incident.
22-year old Yayi Janneh was charged with two counts of sexual battery and 20-year old Zach Thomason, who lives at the residence, was charged with possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.
Staff Writer Brandon Chatmon contributed to this story.