Two men found not guilty for 2015 FSU campus rape

Published: Mar. 5, 2019 at 12:58 PM EST
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By: Julie Montanaro | WCTV Eyewitness News

March 7, 2019

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Two men accused of sexually assaulting a fellow FSU student in 2015 have been found not guilty at trial.

The jury deliberated for nearly four hours before reaching its verdict Thursday night.

Defense attorney Richard Smith represented Cole Borror Ekus.

“It has been four years since the arrest of Cole Ekus. Every day he has lived with this horrible allegation brought against him,” Smith said. “Today he has been rightfully vindicated by a jury and will start to put his life back together as an innocent man.”

Defense attorneys Ben Kuehne and Marty McDonnell represented George Coloney.

"Allegations of sexual battery are taken, and should be taken, very seriously. However, that doesn't mean every person charged with that offense is guilty. We always believed in our client and today a heavy burden has been lifted off his shoulders," Kuehne and McDonnell said after the not guilty verdict.

We are still trying to reach the prosecutor for comment.

By: Julie Montanaro | WCTV Eyewitness News

March 7, 2019

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- A jury is now deliberating in the trial of two men accused of sexually assaulting a fellow FSU student back in February 2015.

The jury started its deliberations at 5:30 p.m. Thursday after lengthy closing arguments in the case.

George Coloney and Cole Borror Ekus are facing sexual battery charges. A then-freshman claims the two assaulted her near Strozier Library as she tried to walk the intoxicated men to their dorm.

By: Julie Montanaro | WCTV Eyewitness News

March 5, 2019

TALLAHASSEE, Fla (WCTV) -- Two roommates accused of sexually assaulting a woman on their way home from a bar are now on trial.

George Coloney and Cole Borror Ekus are facing sexual battery charges in an

in February 2015.

Attorneys made their opening statements to the jury Tuesday morning.

Prosecutors say the victim was outside of her dorm around 3 a.m. smoking a cigarette and talking to her boyfriend on the phone when the two men approached her and asked for directions to their dorm.

The prosecutor says Coloney and Ekus were "sloppy drunk" and may have taken Xanax that night. Prosecutors say as the victim led the two men to their dorm, Coloney pushed her up against a brick column and sexually assaulted her, and then told Ekus, "It's your turn."

"She froze," prosecutor Anna Norris told the jury in her opening statement. The victim didn't run and she didn’t scream, Norris said. "She was so in shock about what was happening that she didn’t do anything," Norris said.

Norris said the woman told her roommate about it when she got home and reported the assault to FSU Police the same night, even flagging down an officer on patrol as he drove by.

Defense attorneys for Coloney and Ekus deny the two assaulted her. The defense attorneys told jurors in their opening statements that there is no DNA or other physical evidence of a sexual assault and the timeline of events laid out by the state doesn't add up.

“There’s no DNA of George’s from the vaginal swab. There’s no DNA of George’s on her mouth from the buccal swab, none,” Coloney's defense attorney told the jury.

Defense attorneys pointed out that Coloney and the woman exchanged phone numbers and phone records show a call from her phone to his phone at 3:18 a.m. Swipe card records, they say, show the woman returned to her dorm at 3:23 a.m.

Defense attorneys questioned whether that was enough time for the alleged sexual assaults to have taken place. Everything she alleges “happened in five minutes, if they occurred at all,” defense attorney Richard Smith told the jury.

Testimony in the trial is expected to span two days.