Lawyers for UW-Madison wide receiver Quintez Cephus wrote in court filings Tuesday they believe prosecutors have evidence showing two women who said Cephus sexually assaulted them in April were not impaired by alcohol as the women have told police.
Cephus, 20, was charged Monday with second-degree sexual assault and third-degree sexual assault for what prosecutors and police said was an April 22 incident at Cephus’ apartment in which Cephus sexually assaulted each of the women, who said they were drunk beyond the ability to consent to sex.
One of Cephus’ lawyers, Stephen Meyer, called the criminal complaint “salacious” in an emailed comment on Monday. On Tuesday, he filed a motion which would require prosecutors to preserve specific pieces of evidence that include surveillance video from various campus-area locations, showing the two women did not appear to be intoxicated. Prosecutors should also be required to preserve text messages and social media postings that “will support the defense in this case and show that any sexual contact was knowing and consensual,” Meyer wrote.
“The prosecution possesses critical forensic, physical and documentary evidence not disclosed or described by the criminal complaint,” Meyer wrote. “Its preservation is essential to ensure all relevant facts are presented and to assure a fair resolution of this case.”
Meyer originally requested preservation of the evidence in a letter dated June 19 to Deputy District Attorney Andrea Raymond, two months before prosecutors filed charges against Cephus. The letter was attached to Meyer’s motion.
According to the criminal complaint, one of the women told police she met Cephus through a mutual friend on April 21, then met up with him later at the Double U bar, 620 University Ave. Both women told police they were very drunk at the bar and at Cephus’ apartment.
Among the evidence Meyer asked prosecutors to preserve were camera images from the lobby, elevator and second floor of Cephus’ apartment building and video footage of the entrances to two residence halls on the UW-Madison campus, which he wrote will show the women were not impaired.
Meyer also asked for video footage from the Double U and another bar, along with city street camera footage on University Avenue and Frances Street, which he said would also show the two were not impaired.
Meyer also sought the results of blood or urine tests of the women done as part of the investigation, and wants prosecutors to preserve phones belonging to Cephus and the two women, along with the results of any forensic examination of the phones.
Cephus will appear in court on Thursday. He has been suspended from football practice and games under the UW Student-Athlete Discipline Policy.
UW-Madison said in a statement Monday it cannot release information about whether a misconduct complaint has been made or is being investigated against a particular student. But in general, UW said, in cases involving sexual misconduct the Title IX Program in UW’s Office of Compliance may conduct a formal investigation into the allegations, which under state administrative code could lead to sanctions that include suspension or expulsion.
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