Former Huskers tight end reacts to “not guilty” verdict in sexual assault case

"I've been waiting on this day for a very long time and I'm just so emotional. Just so overwhelmed. Just so happy today." 

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – Former Nebraska Cornhuskers football player Katerian LeGrone says he is ready to get his life back on track.

The former Husker tight end was arrested in December of 2019, along with teammate Andre Hunt. Both men were accused of raping a fellow student at their off-campus apartment.

A lengthy investigation and court proceedings ultimately led to his trial this week, and a “not guilty” verdict on Thursday morning.

“[I’m] just thankful,” LeGrone told Channel 8. “I would like to just thank the 12 jurors for seeking justice for me today.

LeGrone’s defense team was able to demonstrate to the jury that the accuser did not refuse consent in the alleged sexual encounter between the two.

“I think there was a lot of reasonable doubt in this case,” LeGrone’s attorney Mallory Hughes said. “I think that a lot of the people that were accusing Mr. LeGrone of things gave very inconsistent statements.”

LeGrone’s mother Jemiah tells Channel 8 that the past year-and-a-half has been “disheartening” for her son and her family.

“He went to being nothing,” she said. “He went to being an instant monster. Without research, without proof, and so we were down. It was times I felt suicidal because it’s like these people tried to take my baby from me.”

LeGrone’s attorneys say social media played a key role in their defense.

“In this case, the young lady who accused Mr. LeGrone, took SnapChats before she ever went into his apartment, while she was in his apartment, immediately following his apartment, and again, SnapChats right before, or social media posts right before this trial about her state of mind,” Hughes said.

“This is tough,” LeGrone’s attorney John Berry Jr. said. “It takes courage to get through something like this. False allegations can ruin someone’s life and he persevered. I’m very proud of him.”

With the trial behind him, LeGrone says he’s been working out and plans on continuing to pursue football and his education.

“I will resume continuing my football journey and just continuing living life and being happy,” LeGrone said.

Channel 8 reached out to the father of the alleged victim over the phone for reaction on the jury’s decision. He declined to comment.

Lancaster County Attorney Pat Condon released the following statement about the “not guilty” verdict:

“Of course, we are disappointed with the verdict, but we certainly appreciate the hard work of the jury. We also are very proud of the victim, the law enforcement officers and our attorneys who worked on this case. These are difficult cases. Not only during this Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, but at any time, victims of sexual assault should not be discouraged, especially when it comes to reporting sexual violence. I will continue to do everything I can to be an effective advocate on their behalf.”

Categories: Lancaster, Nebraska News, News