LOS ANGELES – A judge in the trial of a rape lawsuit against NBA star Derrick Rose and two other men said Tuesday that he’s considering a mistrial after criticizing the plaintiff’s lawyers as “unbelievably careless” in production of exhibits.
Rose’s lawyers asked U.S. District Court Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald to declare a mistrial because they had not been given three text messages important to their case until Friday, when Rose was on the witness stand.
The lawyers for the woman who accused the New York Knicks player and two friends of raping her in her apartment in 2013 said the texts were previously disclosed and the argument was frivolous.
Fitzgerald, who used the phrase “unbelievably careless” several times, said it was not a frivolous matter and he told the lawyers to prove the texts had been disclosed.
“You have been very careless with the exhibits,” Fitzgerald said. “I was not happy about it.”
The judge said that if there is a mistrial it would push a new trial into the NBA regular season.
The texts at issue were sent by the woman to Rose. The defence lawyers said they happened to be looking at exhibits handed to them in a binder Friday and noticed texts that hadn’t been disclosed before the trial.
The judge did not indicate when he would rule on the mistrial request. Rose concluded testimony under questioning by the plaintiff’s attorneys Tuesday and was expected to give further testimony under his lawyers’ questioning.
The woman is seeking $21.5 million in the civil lawsuit.
Sexual text messages were at the centre of Rose’s first day of testimony Friday, when the plaintiffs’ attorneys called him as a hostile witness to help make the case that the woman never gave consent to have sex with him and his longtime friends and assistants, Randall Hampton and Ryan Allen.
The men have denied the allegations.
The woman sent Rose a series of suggestive texts, starting with one that said he’s the reason she “wakes up horny,” followed by similar messages throughout the day of Aug. 26, 2013, Rose testified.
He said he took the messages as consent for sex, though none said so explicitly.
Rose said the only time the woman said “no” was when all three men tried to walk into her bedroom at once, and she told them to instead come one at a time.
Rose was asked if he felt any remorse about the night.
“I’m sensitive to it,” Rose replied, but added, “I feel I didn’t do anything wrong.”
The Associated Press is not naming the woman because it generally does not identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault.