By Michael Kinney
NORMAN– For weeks Oklahoma tailback Rodney Anderson had to sit and wait. After being accused of a sexual assault and rape by a former University of Oklahoma student, the Houston native’s only recourse was to let the system play itself out.
Anderson got what he was looking for Thursday afternoon when Cleveland County District Attorney Greg Mashburn held a press conference to announce no charges would be filed against him.
It is unusual for the DA to hold such press conferences, but Mashburn felt it was necessary to make sure and clear up any uncertainty.
“There are certainly cases where we just simply can’t prove something and so we will decline (to file charges) due to insufficient evidence,” Mashburn said. “But I think in this case, it was important for us to tell the whole story so people understand the facts that were presented to us.”
The investigation into the alleged assault began Dec. 4 when Courtney Thorton told the police Anderson had raped her at her Norman apartment in the early morning hours of Nov. 16. According to the emergency protective order that was filed the two met at a local bar earlier in the evening before going back to her apartment.
When she reported the encounter to the police, Thorton said she had been drinking on the night in question and at first only remembered kissing Anderson. It wasn’t until later that she began to ”remember” being assaulted.
However, according to assistant DA Susan Caswell, Thorton’s account of the evening didn’t match up with evidence and witness interviews.
Caswell described in detail the evidence presented to the DA’s office by the Norman Police Department.
According to Caswell, Anderson and Thorton were introduced at a bar earlier in the evening. Thorton consumed numerous shots and was intoxicated.
“Anderson gave her a ride home and they both went inside,” Caswell said. “They began to kiss and she went into the bathroom and vomited. She returned to Anderson and they kissed. Later she fell asleep and when she woke up Anderson was gone and she was still sick.”
Thorton told the Norman PD that she began remembering events and she he had been aggressive with their sexual activity, which included digital penetration, according to Caswell.
Thorton was asked to provide any text messages that may have been going on between her and anyone else and to write down a more complete memory of the events that took place.
In her emailed summary, Thorton said she and Anderson had consensual sex, but no intercourse. And that she exchanged numbers with Anderson before he left.
“She told the police upon inquiry that she didn’t want the sexual activity that occurred, at least in the bedroom” Caswell said. “But she never communicated to Mr. Anderson in any way to let him know that she did not want to do this.”
Caswell described the text messages that went back and forth between Thorton and Anderson as friendlily. Thorton stated in the texts that she had fun and hoped to see him again. Anderson did not respond to the last few messages of Thorton asking to get together again.
“After this, she began having memories of the events differently,” Caswell said. “And then reported a crime to the police a few days later.”
According to Caswell, a friend of Thorton came to the Norman Police to provide information on the case. She said she received several calls, texts and Snapchats from Thorton on Nov. 15 and 16.
“That night, Ms. Thorton had called her from the bathroom and she said she was very excited that Mr. Anderson was at her house,” Caswell said. “She said that she had vomited but intended to brush her teeth and go back and kiss him some more. He sounded tipsy, but not drunk, according to her friend.“
According to Caswell, the friend told investigators that Thorton told her the next day that she had a “great time with Anderson.”
“She described the sexual activity in the living room and the bedroom and stated she hoped they would get together again,” Caswell said. “She provided intimate details about the sexual activity and stated that she wished she had actually had sex with Mr. Anderson, but she thought he was just being a nice guy.”
Two other friends of the Thorton told investigators that she bragged about having sex with Anderson.
“It was their understanding that [they] had a good time and Thorton was hoping to have a romantic relationship with him,” Caswell said. “That she then began to brag about the relationship that she was having with him and even indicated she had had sexual intercourse with him.“
Through it all, Anderson maintained his innocence. First taking to Twitter to deny all charges. He then took a polygraph test, which was issued by a former FBI examiner. The results were found to show n deception.
“Based on all the information that we have received from the Norman Police Department, we determined criminal charges are not warranted,” Caswell said.
“We appreciate the comprehensive investigation by the Norman Police Department, and the District Attorney’s thorough consideration of the evidence,” Anderson’s attorney Derek Chance said in a statement. “The investigation reveals what we have maintained, Mr. Anderson is innocent of these allegations.”
Mashburn said no charges will be filed against Thorton.
“Criminal cases have a very high burden of proof,” Caswell said, “and it was our thought that we could not prove that she was not accurate when she conveyed this information to the police.”
Anderson remains eligible to participate in the College Football Playoffs with his Oklahoma teammates Jan. 1st in Los Angeles.
Michael Kinney is a Freelance Content Writer with Eyeamtruth.com