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Jury finds ex-Husker LeGrone not guilty of sex assault
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Jury finds ex-Husker LeGrone not guilty of sex assault

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A Lancaster County District Court jury has found former Husker football player Katerian LeGrone not guilty of sexually assaulting a 19-year-old University of Nebraska-Lincoln student in 2019. 

LeGrone, 21, put his hands to his face after the verdict was read, seemingly relieved. 

Ex-Huskers Court Hunt LeGrone

Former Nebraska football player Katerian LeGrone (right) walks out the courtroom with attorneys John Berry and Mallory Hughes after an appearance at Lancaster County Hall of Justice in January 2020.

Prosecutors alleged on the night of Aug. 25, 2019, LeGrone snuck into Andre Hunt's bedroom at the apartment they shared, got into position behind the 19-year-old woman and switched off places with his roommate before she knew what happened.

The woman told Lincoln police later that night both men raped her.

Defense attorney Mallory Hughes pointed out in closing arguments that the woman acknowledged seeing LeGrone at the door and feeling the men switch places and not doing or saying anything to show she wasn't consenting. 

The UNL student told the jury she was too scared of what might happen if she did, so she prayed in her head for it to stop. 

After she left, she sent a message to a group of close friends saying "I think I just got raped."

"Our law says that women have a duty to resist," Hughes said Wednesday. "When they see somebody approaching them they have to say 'stop, get out.' When they feel someone switch behind them … they have to at least move their body."

She said the woman did none of that, despite initially telling police she'd said no.

LeGrone initially denied being in the bedroom that night or having sex with her, but 12 hours later told police he asked to join when he came in the room. 

Hunt said if that happened, he didn't hear it, but also testified that he didn't see any indication that she wasn't consenting.

Hunt originally faced a first-degree sexual assault charge, too, but was given a plea deal to two misdemeanors, accessory to attempted false imprisonment and false information. 

"I don't know what the motives are," Hughes said of LeGrone's accuser. "But all I know is this young man is not guilty of sex assault."

The jury got the case for deliberations just before 3 p.m. Wednesday. They returned at 9 a.m. Thursday and announced a verdict about an hour later.

Reach the writer at 402-473-7237 or lpilger@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LJSpilger

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