Players were accused of sexually assaulting a girl that passed out from drinking.

Sept. 2, 2005


SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Two former Brigham Young University football players were acquitted Friday of charges alleging they raped a girl at their apartment after she passed out from drinking.

B.J. Mathis and Ibrahim Rashada, who no longer are students at the school, were found not guilty of charges of aggravated sexual assault, obstruction of justice and furnishing alcohol to a minor.

Two other players who had faced the same charges agreed to plea deals, as did two more players who had faced lesser charges. All have left the team and the school.

"I'm overwhelmed," Rashada said after the verdict. He called the allegations a "tragedy."

"I feel relieved, blessed," Mathis said. "We wish the best for her, that she can get on with her life."

Prosecutors said they did their best in a "difficult" case. The family of the 17-year-old girl issued a statement applauding her resolve to bring the case to court.

During the trial, former defendant William Turner Jr. testified the players took advantage of a "barely conscious" girl. Turner pleaded guilty in juvenile court to forcible sodomy.