Last night, Darrell Williams was found guilty of two of four counts of rape by instrumentation, and one count of sexual battery by a jury of his peers in Stillwater, Oklahoma.
Williams was a major part of the 2010-11 Oklahoma State basketball team, and seemed to be hitting his stride when it was brought to a sudden halt as the charges were filed.
The case was largely considered a “He said, she said” case, and the jury took eight hours before delivering a verdict.
According to Samantha Vicent of the Daily O’Collegian, there is an appeal process, but it is rare for the appeal to be granted. Vicent said:
“Ch. 18 of Criminal Procedure states he can file an appeal w/the Court of Criminal Appeals within 90 days. It says all appeals shall be taken by “petition for writ of certiorari”, meaning he’ll ask the SC to review the decision. However, it is rare for a judge to grant one. He can also appeal under the Post-Conviction Relief statite, but that’s stricter.”
Regional media covered the story, but national media soon picked up on it, including national columnist Gregg Doyel tweeting a story link:
@GreggDoyelCBS: Ok State basketball player convicted of rape. His immediate response was … wow.
@GreggDoyelCBS: If I’m on that jury, and I convicted a guy with zero physical evidence, and he reacts like THAT? I’m terrified.
This evening, a Facebook page entitled “Free Darrell Williams” was started, and already has around 50 likes after being active for only about half an hour.
A post on the Facebook page by the administrator says:
I have been in contact with Bishop Grant of the Rainbow Push organization. If everyone will send an email maybe we can get somewhere. The email is firstname.lastname@example.org We are willing to do whatever we can to get him free. Please invite friends and post things about Darrell. He needs to know he has an army behind him.
Though the verdict has been given and the dust seemed to be settling, it seems there could be more to this story.
The Daily O’Collegian will continue to monitor any developments, as well as keep tabs on any file for an appeal by Williams and/or his attorney.
***UPDATE (12:57 AM, July, 25, 2012)***
A Twitter account has also been started affiliated with the Facebook page under the handle @FreeDarrell. It has 149 followers since being created at 11:55 PM.
***UPDATE (1:02 PM, July 25, 2012)***
The Williams supporters’ social network pages are gaining steam very quickly.
The twitter page, started around midnight last night, just hit 500 followers, and has gained exposure with former OSU receiver Justin Blackmon endorsing. They also reached out to former quarterback Brandon Weeden, and Rev. Al Sharpton.
The Facebook page that was created late last night has also hit 313 “Likes”, and have posted that the group will have a prayer meeting at the Payne County Courthouse on August 1st.
Both of the pages have also stated that if Williams is not free by Monday, they will be protesting at the courthouse.
***UPDATE (1:53 PM, July 26, 2012)***
Support for Williams has hit the ground running. As of right now, the @FreeDarrell Twitter has amassed 1,040 followers since it started just after midnight on Wednesday morning. The Free Darrell Williams Facebook page is currently at 694 “Likes”, and the administrators behind the pages also started a petition on change.org for Williams. It currently has 887 signatures since being started yesterday.
We are closely monitoring the current situation here at the Daily O’Collegian Newspaper, and will continue to provide updates on any new developments.