All charges have been dropped against a former member of Temple University’s football team who was accused of rape. Attorneys for 20-year-old Praise Martin-Oguike said the charges were dismissed as jury selection was to begin Monday. The woman told police Martin-Oguike assaulted her in May 2012 in his dorm room. Martin-Oguike said the encounter was consensual.
“For the past 18 months, this young man has lived under a terrible cloud,” said his attorney, James Funt. “After being branded as a rapist for a crime he did not commit, he was ostracized, stripped of his athletic scholarship, kicked out of Temple University and vilified nationally and on the Internet. The stain on his reputation and the impact on his life will never be completely erased.”
Tasha Jamerson, spokeswoman for the District Attorney’s Office, said: “Upon further investigation it was determined there wasn’t enough evidence to proceed to trial.”
Martin-Oguike’s attorney James Funt said charges were dropped after a review of the woman’s text messages with her friends indicated she was not truthful about being raped.
Funt said the former Temple linebacker was victimized by the woman “simply because he would not agree to have a romantic long-term relationship with her.”
Praise says he holds no grudges against his accuser.
“I got to look at it in a positive way. It made me a better person. I learned a lot from the whole experience and moving forward,” he said.
The district attorney’s office has not said if it will pursue criminal charges against the woman for making false allegations.
Martin-Oguike was suspended from the team after he was charged. He now attends a New Jersey community college. Praise hopes to be able to return to the university and eventually attend medical school.