People serving time after being wrongfully accused is nothing new, but every exoneration feels just as freeing as the last.
The latest case affected NBA hopeful Darrell Williams, who was convicted of sexual assault while playing basketball for Oklahoma State. He was accused of forcing his hands down two female students’ pants during a off-campus party in December 2010. He was sentenced to two years, one for each woman.
Williams was innocent and even rejected a plea deal that would drop the charges to a minimal misdemeanor battery. He’d be exonerated two years later with the help of a new legal team and the Chicago Innocence Project. While in jail, he befriended an old Amateur Athletic Union buddy, Randy Brown, who was the special assistant to the general manager of the Chicago Bulls. He was there for Williams during the entire ordeal.
“When you are released from prison, I’m going to be there to make sure you get that second chance. I’ve got your back, D,” Brown told Williams, according to Sports Illustrated.
Upon finishing his prison sentence, Brown helped his Chicago brother get on the right track, which included finishing up college a Texas A&M–Commerce and eventually seeing his talents thrive overseas.
His convictions and sex offender status would eventually be overturned in April 2014 when the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals reversed the decision on the grounds that he’d not received a fair trial due to jury misconduct.
Read the rest of Williams’ inspiring story with Sports Illustrated here.
SOURCE: Sports Illustrated | VIDEO SOURCE: Sports Illustrated