Criminal Defense Attorney Brad Koffel appeared on a recent episode of the Joel Riley Podcast on WTVN Radio to discuss the high-profile case of two former Ohio State football players charged with rape and kidnapping in Franklin County.
The two Ohio State defensive backs, both 21 and soon-to-be seniors, were arrested early Wednesday on felony rape and kidnapping charges over an alleged incident in a Columbus apartment on February 4, 2020.
Shortly after the arrests, Ohio State Coach Ryan Day dismissed both players, both of whom maintain they were wrongfully accused. According to criminal complaints filed in municipal court, the alleged incident began when one player and the accuser were having consensual sex, and escalated when the player asked if the other could join. The affidavit noted the men recorded themselves asking the accuser to say the encounter was consensual during the incident.
As WTVN Legal Analyst, Attorney Koffel answers Riley’s questions about the charges, sex crimes, and what’s to come in the impending criminal case. As Koffel tells Riley, the players are facing charges for kidnapping, a common allegation in forcible rape cases, because there are allegations the players forcibly restrained the victim to engage in sexual activity against her will.
Koffel goes on to discuss three key pieces of what he call a “campus rape case” –cases which involve high school and college students and the likelihood that alcohol consumption and intoxication affected the parties’ judgment. Per Koffel, these include:
- No Means No: The alleged victim told authorities the incident began as a consensual encounter with one player, but that she did not consent to the encounter involving the second player. Because the accuser retracted consent when the incident escalated, which is not very common in these cases, it may add to her credibility.
- Presumed Innocent: Koffel reiterates that as criminal defendants, both players are innocent until proven guilty, and that the public does not know exactly what happened during the night and incident in question.
- Consent in Real Time: In terms of consent, Koffel notes it’s reasonable for young men to express their intention to have a sexual encounter in writing by sending a text message in near-real time, not yesterday nor moments after. The video recording asking for consent may become an issue for the defendants.
As felonies, the charges carry substantial prison sentences and potential lifetime sex offender registration. Both players will likely be indicted in the coming weeks, and it will remain to be seen how long the case will take, and whether the players will voice their sides of the story.
Columbus Attorney Brad Koffel is an award-winning DUI and criminal defense attorney and Managing Partner at Koffel Brininger Nesbitt. The host of “For the Defense,” Koffel also serves as a Legal Analyst for WTVN Radio and shows like the Joel Riley Podcast.