The state’s highest criminal court on Wednesday upheld the sexual assault conviction of former Baylor University football player Sam Ukwuachu, reversing a lower court that had ordered a new trial because jurors were not shown text messages between the accuser and a friend.
The Waco-based 10th Court of Appeals had tossed out the conviction, ruling that the trial judge improperly excluded several text messages that the accuser, a fellow student athlete identified in court documents as CW, sent to a friend in October 2013. Defense lawyers wanted to introduce into evidence texts sent prior to a message in which CW said Ukwuachu ““just raped me basically.”
A unanimous Texas Court of Criminal Appeals said the trial judge properly excluded the prior text messages.
The ruling — an opinion joined by four judges and two concurring opinions joined by the court’s five other judges — returns Ukwuachu’s case to the 10th Court of Appeals to consider other objections raised by the former football player.
Ukwuachu, a one-time All-American who transferred to Baylor, was sentenced to 180 days in jail and 10 years of probation and ordered to register as a sex offender.
This is a developing story.