Lawsuit filed as 'Jane Doe'
DENVER -- A woman who accused former Denver Broncos cornerback Perrish Cox of sexual assault has filed a lawsuit seeking unspecified damages against Cox and current Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas.
The woman's lawyer, Craig Silverman, says he filed the lawsuit electronically Sunday. A jury in March acquitted Cox of all charges, and Cox then signed a two-year contract with the San Francisco 49ers. Silverman says the lawsuit filed anonymously as "Jane Doe" allows the woman to prosecute the allegations in court.
"On behalf of our client, the victim, we will prosecute and prove these charges in a court of law," Silverman said in an email sent to The Associated Press.
Silverman said he would decline further comment, adding that the documents filed in the case speak for themselves.
Cox's criminal attorney, Harvey Steinberg, didn't immediately return a message. It was unclear whether Thomas had retained an attorney, and a number listed for him was inoperable.
Civil lawsuits have a lower threshold of proof, as opposed to a "beyond a reasonable doubt" standard in criminal proceedings.
The woman became pregnant after visiting Cox's apartment following a night of partying in September 2010. In his lawsuit, Silverman says the woman was drugged at a downtown nightclub, then sexually assaulted at Cox's suburban apartment.
Allegations that the women became overly intoxicated and possibly drugged when they drank lemon shots at the nightclub were well-known during Cox's criminal trial, but prosecutors never sought to prove them. Prosecutors presented a straight-forward criminal case that the woman didn't remember having sex, didn't consent to it, and that DNA tests proved that Cox was the father. Cox's attorney presented a case that suggested the woman, as well as Cox, didn't remember having sex.
"For unknown strategic reasons, the prosecution at the criminal trial declined to pursue any claim that a rape drug had been used and instructed its witnesses that they were not to volunteer testimony about any such drugging or suspected drugging," according to the lawsuit.
Chris Gallo, the 18th Judicial District Deputy District Attorney, said after the trial that he believed that evidence he and another prosecutor presented was enough to prove the case.
Thomas caught an 80-yard touchdown pass in overtime to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers in a first-round playoff game in January. He had expressed a romantic interest in the woman, and was at the apartment the night she became pregnant.
The lawsuit claims battery, sexual assault and battery, aiding and abetting tortious conduct, conspiracy, outrageous conduct, and negligence, which include failing to ensure the woman's safety.
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press
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