A jury acquitted Philadelphia Eagles offensive guard Joshua Sills of raping and kidnapping a former high school classmate in 2019.
Jurors started deliberating shortly after 12 pm Friday and returned the verdict nearly three hours later at 2:45 pm.
Sills showed no emotion as the verdict was read. He then was given the opportunity to thank the jury.
“I have done nothing wrong,” Sills said in court after thanking the jury.
The Eagles organization released a statement saying he will return to the team’s active roster list.
‘Girl who cries wolf’
Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost issued a statement on the not-guilty verdict returned in Guernsey County.
“I still believe the victim. But in America, criminal convictions require proof beyond a reasonable doubt,” Yost said. “The jury did not see it, and I thank them for doing their duty under the law.”
The prosecutor’s closing argument focused on “common sense.”
The defense called the victim the “girl who cries wolf.”
Sills was indicted on both first-degree felony charges on Feb. 1, 2023 — nearly two weeks before the Eagles headed to Glendale, Arizona, to face off against the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LVII.
According to the indictment out of Ohio, Sills allegedly raped and kidnapped the woman on Dec. 5, 2019 in Guernsey County.
Sills grew up in Byesville — which is a small town in Guernsey County — and graduated from Meadowbrook High School, where he started as guard and handled kicking and punting duties. He later spent four years at West Virginia University before transferring to Oklahoma State.
In 2022, Sills was signed by the Philadelphia Eagles. His roster lists him as 6 feet, 6 inches and 325 pounds.
‘She tried hard to fight back’
“She said that Josh raped her,” a friend of the victim testified in court. “Josh Sills.”
The friend, Brooke Bing, said after the incident, the victim confided in her about what had happened.
“She said that he forced her head down onto his penis,” Bing wept on the witness stand. “She said when I pulled up into the driveway, he held her down on him, on his penis, and she couldn’t breathe. She tried hard to fight back. And she said he tried to unzip her pants and physically sexually assault her, the other way vaginally, but she got away. She said she had some strength come over her and she got out of the truck.”
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