Chris Jones rape accuser only wanted an apology, not charges

Chris Jones rape accuser only wanted an apology, not charges

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Newly released documents in the Chris Jones rape investigation reveal one of the two accusers did not want police to prosecute the former UofL basketball star, and only wanted him to apologize.

That information was included in the heavily redacted police file in the case, a file that WAVE 3 News obtained on Thursday following media requests to release it.

Jones and co-defendants Tyvon Walker and Jalen Tilford were charged with the rape and sodomy of two women, ages 19 and 20, at an off-campus apartment following a UofL game in February. After two and a half days of hearing evidence, a Jefferson County grand jury decided not to indict any of the men, and the case against then was dropped.

According to the transcript of an interview contained in the file, Jones told UofL Police Det. John Tarter he had consensual sex with one of the women in the bathroom. Jones told Tarter the woman voluntarily stayed in the bathroom with him after he went inside to use it.

Jones said the two had sex in the bathroom and a bedroom. Jones told investigators the other accuser was at the party, but he denied having sex with her. Much of that part of the questioning is redacted in the transcript, making the specifics of Jones' interview unclear.

The file also includes interviews and statements in which both Tilford and Walker said they each had consensual sex with one woman. Walker told investigators that the women left the apartment, then returned laughing and in good spirits. He also said in his statement one of the women "went off on" Jones but didn't explain why.

"She's like, 'Where is he, where is he?'" Walker said. "I was like, 'Where is who?' And then Chris comes to the door and she's like, 'Yeah, Chris, you are a (expletive) so just know that.'"

Among those who testified at the grand jury was Kristen Smith -- then a senior at Bullitt Central High School -- who claimed she was among those at the party who did not think any sexual assaults occurred. She posted a stark and clear defense of the three men on her Instagram account around the time of the accusations.

"The girl thought (the accusations were) funny and I'm going to defend that 100%," she posted on Instagram. "Because I was in the room the whole time, head up."

The day Smith appeared before the grand jury, she told only WAVE 3 News that she wanted to continue to defend the accused.

"I mean I think they are innocent so, that's just what I'm going to do," she said.

After the case was thrown out, Tilford's lawyer, Scott Drabenstadt, told reporters security camera video from the apartment complex showed both women skipping down a stairwell after they allegedly were raped the first time, with one of the women swinging from the rails. The file does not include that video.

UofL police said it had no comment on the contents of the police file.

"At this point, the investigation and court decision has to stand on its own," UofL police spokesman John Drees said.

Jones' attorney, Scott Cox, also had no comment. Cox said he is no longer in contact with the former Cards' point guard and doesn't know if he's still pursuing a career in basketball.

WAVE 3 News tried to reach UofL Police Det. John Tarter for comment, but Drees said he was unavailable. Tarter is the same police officer who played a key role in the most famously overturned rape conviction in local history.

In 1992, Tarter, then with the City of Louisville Police Department, was one of two officers who investigated and charged William Gregory with two separate rapes. Gregory was convicted and spent seven years in prison before DNA evidence showed he was innocent and he was freed.

The city of Louisville had to pay nearly $4 million to Gregory as part of a settlement from his civil suit against the city.

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