Jury finds ex-UT football player not guilty of sexual assault

Kendall Sanders arriving at court
Kendall Sanders arriving at court

AUSTIN (KXAN) — A Travis County jury has found a former UT football player accused of sexual assault not guilty.

Kendall Sanders, 21, was on trial for sexually assaulting a woman at the San Jacinto dorm. The jury began deliberations on Thursday and the jury reached the verdict on Friday  morning.

During the trial, Jane Doe took the stand and said she and some friends met with Sanders and Montrel Meander, 21, downtown while celebrating a birthday in 2014. She went home with Meander, whom she described as a friend, but not her boyfriend. In his room at the San Jacinto dorms on the University of Texas campus, Doe admitted to being heavily intoxicated, taking a shower in Meander’s room and consenting to sex with him.

Defense attorney Brian Roark told the jury they will her two very different versions of what happened. During opening statements, the defense attacked the rape investigation conducted by UTPD. Roark says there are inconsistencies in her statements which were never fully investigated. “None of her statements have ever been challenged,” said Roark. The defense argued that everything between Doe and the two former players was consensual, but she changed her tune when Sanders took a picture of her during sex. The fear of humiliation on social media is what motivated the rape allegations according to Roark.

Meander is also charged with sexual assault and his trial is expected in a few weeks.

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