Charges dropped against Temple football player accused of rape

Posted: October 08, 2013

ALL CHARGES have been dropped against a former Temple football player who was accused of raping a woman in a dorm.

The news came on what was supposed to be the first day of jury selection in the trial of Praise Martin-Oguike, 20, who was arrested May 30, 2012, on charges of forcible rape, false imprisonment and related offenses and kicked out of Temple soon after.

A Temple business student from Maryland accused him of raping her inside his dorm room on Liacouras Walk and Norris Street four days before his arrest.

Martin-Oguike, a native of Nigeria who was raised since age 10 in Sewaren, N.J., by his pastor father and poet mother, maintained that the sexual activity was consensual.

"For the past 18 months, this young man has lived under a terrible cloud," said his attorney, James Funt. "After being branded as a rapist for a crime he did not commit, he was ostracized, stripped of his athletic scholarship, kicked out of Temple University and vilified nationally and on the Internet. The stain on his reputation and the impact on his life will never be completely erased."

Tasha Jamerson, spokeswoman for the District Attorney's Office, said: "Upon further investigation it was determined there wasn't enough evidence to proceed to trial."

Late last month, Funt, who is seeking to have the case expunged, filed a motion asking Common Pleas Judge Denis Cohen to allow the woman's text messages between friends to be entered as trial evidence to expose her motive for allegedly lying about being raped.

Funt argued that she had been rejected by several other men, including football players, and did not want to get a campus reputation as a football "groupie" after Martin-Oguike "would not agree to have a romantic long-term relationship with her."

Funt told the judge that the text messages would show that the woman lied about when she last had sex before the alleged rape and would expose that she was injured having sex with another man. In one, which Funt read in court, the woman texted a friend about another sexual encounter two weeks before the alleged rape, remarking on how well-endowed the man was:

"I couldn't deal I was like screaming so much that he put a pillow in my mouth lmfao," the message said, in part.

On Twitter: @MensahDean

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