CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The jury found UNC Charlotte quarterback Kevin Olsen not guilty on all charges Wednesday.
Olsen was charged with three counts of second-degree rape and one count of second-degree sex offense for a reported attack on a woman in an off-campus apartment.
Olsen was indicted in May 2017 and pleaded not guilty in September 2017 after rejecting a plea deal.
Olsen's attorney George Laughrun told Channel 9 Olsen was ready to defend himself and rejected the plea deal so he would have the opportunity to prove his innocence at trial.
The defense argued that Olsen did not rape, or even injure his accuser.
The accuser said her relationship with Olsen was tumultuous. She claimed Olsen attacked her and became enraged after she got a text message.
It took the jury three days to reach the not guilty verdict.
The jury found Kevin Olsen not guilty on all charges.
The Olsen family, including Kevin's older brother and Panthers star Greg Olsen, were inside the courtroom on Wednesday.
They all burst into tears when the not guilty verdict was read.
The accuser’s family marched out of the courtroom after hearing Kevin Olsen had been acquitted of all charges including rape.
The Olsens left the courthouse without saying a word, but their attorney, George Laughrun talked about the stress they were under.
"For a year and a half he’s lived with this over his head. Now, he can get back to his life,” Laughrun said.
The jury returned to the courtroom with three questions for the judge, including what happens if there's hung jury.
Jurors continue to deliberate in the Olsen trial. Jurors started deliberations early Wednesday after only discussing for three hours since closing arguments finished.
The jury received testimony transcripts from a former analyst with the CIA who testified about text messages sent from Olsen's accuser.
The request for the testimony transcripts was the reason for the delay in Tuesday's deliberations.
The judge in the Olsen trial wants the jury to start early Wednesday after only deliberating for three hours over the last two days. Jurors are entering into day three of deliberations.
Jurors asked for testimony transcripts yesterday. They wanted to review what a former analyst with the CIA said about text messages Olsen's accuser sent.
The jury was sent home for the day and will continue deliberations on Wednesday.
The judge granted a written transcript after jurors requested a copy of a former CIA agent's testimony. During his testimony, the agent analyzed phone records and discussed the accuser's confusion about whether she was raped or not. The jury was sent on an early break and are expected to reconvene at 12:30 p.m.
The jury is set to arrive back at the Mecklenburg County Courthouse at 9:30 a.m. to continue deliberations in the Kevin Olsen trial.
The jury has adjourned for today. They will resume deliberations Tuesday morning. The jury told the judge they are nowhere close to a decision.
The jury will meet back at the courthouse at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday to continue deliberations.
Jury deliberations are underway.
Not long after the case went to the jury, jurors came back to the judge with a question.
Closing arguments are still underway.
Prosecutors said the accuser did not have to say “no” or “stop” because consent through fear is not consent at all.
They claimed the accuser was beaten up and forced to have sex.
The defense claimed the accuser is lying and that her contradictory statements mean her testimony can’t be trusted.
“We’re not asking if Kevin Olsen is a good boyfriend. We know he said some bad things, but he's not a rapist and you know that from the evidence,” defense attorney George Laughrun said.
Olsen's defense attorney said the accuser sent a text to a friend saying Olsen was not a rapist.
The woman's attorney responded to that by saying she didn't know what to call it at first, but she knew something bad had happened.
"Who wants to admit that the person they trusted, with their life, with their body, would do something like that to him?" Prosecutor Kristen Northrup said.
The defense for Olsen has rested. Olsen spoke in court for the first time, but only to tell the judge he would not testify in the trial.
Closing arguments have begun, starting with the state and followed by Olsen's defense attorneys.
Defense attorneys for Olsen tried to convince the jury his accuser's injuries weren't consistent with rape.
Dr. Bonnie Price, who is an expert sexual assault nurse, said in court that the nurse who examined the accuser did not do a good job.
She said the report and the photographs taken wouldn't allow her to say if the victim had had sex, let alone if it was forced.
"No. Based on records provided and photographs and not having the things to validate and confirm findings, no, I couldn't determine if there was sexual contact," Price said.
The defense also tried to paint the accuser as jealous and possessive.
Clark Walton, a former threat analyst with the CIA, took the stand. He looked at phone records.
Two days before the alleged incident, he said, the accuser had texted Olsen 169 times. On the following day, she texted him 130 times and, on the next day, 74 times.
Walton said that, after Olsen was arrested, the accuser sent a text to a friend, which Walton read in court. It said: "I hate them for making it all about rape because they know I was iffy about that anyway. He's not a rapist.”
Prosecutors have said that the accuser was confused about rape at that time because she was conflicted about her relationship with Olsen.
The defense said that proves the rape never happened.
Closing arguments in the case could come as soon as Monday.
Officials said the state rested in the Kevin Olsen trial and the defense could begin calling witnesses as soon as Thursday.
One of the final witnesses called to the stand Thursday was the accuser's roommate Kylie Reynolds.
Reynolds insisted on taking the accuser to the emergency room and remembered a phone call from the accuser shortly after the alleged incident happened.
A representative of the state asked, "How did she sound on the phone?"
"Hysterical," Reynolds said. "Frantic. She was sobbing. I couldn't really make out what she was saying. The only thing I could make out was 'unlock the front door.'"
The defense asked the judge to dismiss the charges, stating in this particular case, part of the sex was consensual and the rest, no actual physical force was used.
The judge denied the motion.
The first witness called by the defense was the lead investigator for the prosecution.
Prosecutors put sexual assault nurse Tanika Torres on the stand.
Prosecutors introduced photos which showed bruises around the accuser's face, back and arms.
Torres testified about injuries to the accuser's vaginal area, some abrasions and one injury that would have been considered serious. Torres could not tell how recent the injuries were.
"She did not express pain and she was not bleeding. But those two things, I couldn't tell either way if the injury was recent or not," Torres said.
Prosecutors said if the nurse was able to determine if the injuries were recent, Olsen would have been charged with first-degree rape, not second-degree rape.
The victim told jurors that she was so afraid of Olsen that she did not say, ‘No’ or stop or decline his advances concerned the assault would continue.
She traded shots with the defense, who is trying to convince jurors that's she's not a victim at all, and that she made the incident up.
"I loved him, and I was in denial,” she said. “I wasn't going to think that was happening to me."
The accuser told jurors she had a hard time admitting that she had been raped by the man she loved.
Defense attorneys tried to cast doubt on the rape allegation. The accuser testified she never told Olsen to stop or that she did not want to have sex. Defense attorney George Laughrun tried to point out that was no different from any of the other times they had been intimate, including earlier in the day of the alleged assault.
“He didn't ask, ‘Are you OK with us having sex,’ did he?” Laughrun said.
“We were dating, we never had,” the accuser said.
“It just happened?” Laughrun said.
“Yes,” the accuser said.
“Just like it happened when you first went over there with a bottle of wine?” Laughrun said.
“Yes,” the accuser said.
“And all the other times you had sexual intercourse, it just happened, right? Laughrun said.
“Yes,” the accuser said.
The accuser said that she loved Olsen and wanted to help him. The defense immediately struck back.
“Trying to help him by accusing him of rape,” Laughrun said.
“(I) tried to help him from killing himself, trying to help him from overdosing, trying to help him from all the alcohol and drugs he was using,” the accuser said.
Prosecutors will put friends of the accuser on the stand hoping their testimonies and photographs of her being battered and bruised will convince jurors that Olsen is lying.
It's still unclear if Olsen will take the stand, but the alleged victim testified in court Monday morning.
The accuser said in court she was impressed with Olsen when they first met.
"Yeah, I really liked him,” the accuser said. “I thought he was a really nice guy."
She said she knew Olsen a year before the alleged attack happened. She testified that they were in a tumultuous relationship and that he often cheated, and she would forgive him.
Prosecutors said she was beaten and sexually assaulted, but the defense claims she was jealous.
She said during one of their fights Olsen got so upset that he tried to strangle himself with an iPhone cord in the bathroom of a home.
"I thought there was really something wrong, and that he might actually do something to himself," the accuser said Monday.
"Still, told him, ‘I was leaving,’” she said. “That's when he got on top of me and started hitting me and punching me."
She said Olsen forced her to have sex. She said she didn't say, “No” because she was afraid.
"I knew I didn't want to have sex, but I wasn't going to tell him, ‘No.’"
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Channel 9 will have a camera in the courtroom during the trial. A judge has ordered the accuser's face not be shown and her voice be altered.
In court last Tuesday, the defense argued that she should not be called a victim because there were no physical injuries and no corroborating witnesses.
Prosecutors, on the other hand, argued the law gives them the right to call her a victim and the judge ruled in their favor.
UNCC reported Olsen was suspended from athletics following the initial charges and as part of a restraining order, cannot attend the same school as his alleged victim.
Olsen is the younger brother of Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen.
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