You are on page 1of 4

Former UT football found not guilty

The jury started deliberations morning and the jury reached the verdict on Friday.
During the trial, Jane Doe took the stand and said she and some friends and Montrel Meander and
Sanders, 21, downtown met while celebrating a birthday in 2014. She went home with Meander,
whom she described as a friend, but not her boyfriend. In his room in the San Jacinto dorms Doe
acknowledged to taking a shower in Meander's room being greatly intoxicated and consenting to sex
with him.
Defense attorney Brian Roark told the jury the friend will her two different versions of what
happened. Roark says there are inconsistencies in JaneDoe statements which were never fully
investigated. "None of her statements have ever been challenged," said Roark. The defense claimed
that everything between Doe as well as the two former players was consensual, when Sanders took a
picture of her during sex but she changed her tune. The fear of humiliation is what prompted the
rape allegations according to Roark.
Five jurors flipped to Sanders' side during discussions
On Friday morning, three jurors believed Kendall Sanders was not innocent of sexual assault and
two were uncertain. Finally, all five flipped for a verdict of not guilty. Sanders said two would "love
to go back to UT," and that he's been contacted by Houston to play football. Inquired what occurred
together with his accuser, Sanders said, "It was not rape. A jury that had appeared headed for an
impasse reached a consensus and acquitted former Texas Longhorn football player Kendall Sanders
of sexual assault on Friday.
"I do not want this upon anybody," Sanders told the American Statesman. "You understand deep
down in your heart you're innocent, but everybody's bashing you and you hear all these terrible
things about you."
A jury of four women and eight men deliberated for nearly 41/2 hours over two days. According to
two members, talks opened with three members still considering Sanders was two uncertain and not
innocent. On the list of five holdouts was Jeff Bagley, who told the Statesman that evidence that is
inadequate stood as a roadblock to finding Sanders guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
"Not guilty was the right verdict," Bagley said. "I do think there was a general consensus, or at least
from rather a number of jurors, that the rape did occur even if there was not enough evidence.
Bagley included "it was quite close" to being a hung jury, which would've resulted in a mistrial.
"We believed the woman."

Juror Mitchell Herd, who was undecided the day, to begin, said the jury was convinced Sanders had
sex having a UT female student on the morning of June 21, 2014, but that it was not clear when the
girl had given her permission. In her first statements to authorities, the woman said Sanders had
quit having sex with her when she demanded him to stop. Yet during her testimony at trial, the
woman said Sanders told her she could leave when he was finished with all the act and changed

course. That was among 37 inconsistencies the defense.
"There was no other decision to be manufactured," Herd said. "That was the complete right decision
to be made. We are unhappy because we understand he's not innocent; he did benefit from a really
drunk girl in a dorm room at the center of the nighttime. We recognize that morally he did
something very wrong; we agree on that. But lawfully we could not convict him."
Focus now changes to Sanders' bid. He will now investigate alternatives to continue his college
football career after he was fired by UT because of the assault charge. He explained he's been
approached about playing football at Houston, where Cougars assistant coach Major Applewhite,
who trained Sanders could be reunited with by Sanders. Sanders, who is assured of one year of
eligibility he goes, said he'll petition the NCAA to get another year.
He did not rule out returning to UT, saying, "I do not attribute trainer (Charlie) Strong. He did
everything he could."
"I'd want to return to UT."

Sanders, who did not testify at trial, was asked
for his version of what happened when a woman
maintained she was attacked by Sanders
vaginally, anally and orally.
"It wasn't rape," he said. "It was consensual sex."

Austin, the prosecutor, said she planned to
review the Sanders trial before deciding if the
state will continue to trial against Montrel
Meander, another former UT football player who
had been charged in exactly the same event that
involved Sanders. Austin said the case of the
state was weaker against Sanders, presumably because the woman confessed to having consensual
sex and because she did not identify Meander as her attacker.
Roark said he believes Meander's case must be dropped.
"If they couldn't demonstrate that Mr. Sanders had done anything, it might be amazingly difficult to
demonstrate Mr. Meander did," said Roark, who's not representing Meander.Kendall Sanders found
not guilty
A Travis County jury has found a former UT football player not guilty.
Kendall Sanders, 21, was on trial for sexually assaulting a female at the San Jacinto dorm. The jury
started deliberations on Thursday morning, and the verdict was reached by the jury on Friday.
During the trial, the stand was taken by Jane Doe and said she and some friends met Montrel
Meander and Sanders, 21, downtown while celebrating birthday. She went home with Meander,

whom she described as a friend, but not her boyfriend. In his room in the San Jacinto dorms on the
University of Texas campus, Doe admitted to taking shower, being heavily intoxicated and accepting
to sex.

Defense attorney Brian Roark told the jury they will Doe's two different versions of what occurred.
During opening statements, the defense attacked the rape investigation ran by UTPD. Roark says
there are inconsistencies in JaneDoe statements which were never fully investigated. The defense
asserted that everything between Doe as well as the two former players was consensual, but she
changed her tune when Sanders took a photo of her during sex. Humiliation on social media's fear is
what moved the rape allegations according to Roark.
Five jurors flipped to Sanders' side during conversations
On Friday morning, three jurors considered Kendall Sanders was guilty of sexual assault and two
were unsure. Finally, all five flipped for a verdict. Sanders said two would "love to return to UT," and
that he's also been contacted by Houston to play football. Asked what happened with his accuser,
Sanders said, "It was not rape. It was casual sex." A jury that had appeared headed for an impasse
acquitted former Texas Longhorn football player Kendall Sanders of sexual assault and gotten to a
consensus.
Sanders, who was facing up to 20 years in prison for the second-level felony, embraced his attorney,
Brian Roark, as members of Sanders' family burst into tears in the courtroom gallery.
"I don't wish this upon anybody," Sanders told the American Statesman. "You understand deep down
in your heart you're innocent, but everybody's bashing you and you hear each one of these awful
things about you."
A jury of eight men and four women deliberated for almost 41/2 hours over two days. According to
two members, discussions opened Friday morning with three members considering Sanders was
guilty and two uncertain. Among the five holdouts was Jeff Bagley, who told the Statesman that
evidence that is inadequate stood as roadblock.
"Not guilty was the correct verdict," Bagley said. "Bagley do think there was a general consensus, or
at least from rather a couple of jurors, that the rape did occur even if there was not enough
evidence.
"We are disappointed in the verdict," prosecutor Andrea Austin said. "We believed the girl."
Juror Mitchell Herd, who was on the fence the day to start, said the jury was convinced that it was
unsure if the girl had given her approval, although Sanders had sex using a UT female student on
the morning of June 21, 2014. In her first statements to police, the woman said when Sanders
demanded him to stop, she had quit having sex with her. Yet during her testimony at trial, the girl
said Sanders told her she could leave when he was finished with the act and changed course. That
was among 37 inconsistencies the defense detailed during closing arguments.
"There was no other choice to be produced," Herd said. "That was the complete right decision to be
made. We are unhappy because we understand he is guilty; he did take advantage of an extremely
drunk girl in a dorm room in the centre of the nighttime. We realize that morally he did something
very wrong; we agree on that. But lawfully we could not convict him."

Focus now changes to Sanders' bid. He will now investigate options to keep his college football
career after UT dismissed him as a result of the assault charge. He explained he has been
approached about playing football at Houston, where Cougars assistant coach Major Applewhite,
who coached Sanders could be reunited with by Sanders. Sanders, wherever he goes who is told of
one year of qualification, said he'll petition the NCAA to get a second year.
He did not rule out returning to UT, saying, "I do not attribute trainer (Charlie) Strong. He did
everything he could."
"I would want to return to UT."
Sanders, who did not testify at trial, was asked for his version of what happened when a girl claimed
she was assaulted by Sanders vaginally, anally and orally.
"It wasn't rape," he said. "It was consensual sex."
Austin, the prosecutor, said she intended to review the Sanders trial before determining whether the
state will proceed against Montrel Meander, another former UT football player who was charged in
exactly the same episode that involved Sanders. Austin said the state's case against Meander was
weaker than the one against Sanders, presumably as the girl admitted to having consensual sex with
Meander and because she failed to initially identify Meander as her attacker.
Roark said he considers Meander's case must be dropped.
"If they couldn't prove that Mr. Sanders had done anything, it would be extremely hard to prove Mr.
Meander did," said Roark, who's not representing Meander.