With so little information previously available regarding the charges filed last year against Broncos cornerback Perrish Cox (with the exception of the ominous nature of the alleged crime of ‘sexual assault while the victim was physically helpless and sexual assault while the victim was incapable of determining the nature of the conduct”), the Broncos hadn’t said much about the situation. With the arrest affidavit finally released after the Colorado Supreme Court opted not to review the trial court judge’s decision to make it public, the Broncos now know more about the claims against Cox.
“The allegations involving Perrish Cox are extremely serious and troubling to our organization,” the team said in a statement, per the Denver Post. “We will continue to monitor this situation very closely.”
The Post has published the affidavit. And, after reading the affidavit, it’s obvious that the Broncos should be extremely troubled.
On the early morning of September 6, the alleged victim specifically blacked out while she was kissing and being fondled in Cox’s apartment (where Broncos cornerback Cassius Vaughn was also staying) by Broncos receiver Demaryius Thomas, after spending time at Club Beta in Denver. The next morning, after she woke up, she suspected that something more had happened. Thomas told her via text that, after she passed out, he went home.
The alleged victim spent the next several weeks suspecting that Thomas had raped her after she passed out. (The story that she tells is very detailed.) Eventually, the alleged victim determined that she was pregnant, and at that point she went to the police.
To make the story even more awkward within the Broncos locker room, the alleged victim began dating Broncos linebacker Wesley Woodyard after the incident.
In early November, with the guidance of the police, a DNA sample was obtained from the fetus. The alleged victim then placed “pretext calls” to Thomas, Cox, and the third Broncos player present that night, Cassius Vaughn. They all denied having sex with her on the night in question, explaining that she was “too drunk and passed out.”
Cox repeated “HELL NO” in response to the key question several times. Asked if he would take a DNA test, Cox said, “Hell no, well I guess it if came down to it, then yea, but what the hell?” He also said “that would have to be some sick shit to do that to her.”
The police then met with Thomas, who gave verbal evidence almost as damning as the DNA test Cox eventually would take.
Specifically, Thomas said that he saw Cox carry the alleged victim, after she was passed out, to Cox’s bed. Cox and Thomas then were lounging on a couch, and Cox eventually wanted Thomas “to do something sexual” with the alleged victim, but Thomas said he couldn’t because of the woman’s condition. Thomas later fell asleep on the couch, woke up a little later, and left.
Police later met with Cox, who denied having sex with the alleged victim. He initially declined the invitation to submit to a DNA test, saying “I don’t want nothing to do with that at all.” Cox allowed photos to be taken of his apartment. Police then told Cox that they would be seeking a warrant for DNA evidence if he would not voluntarily provide it. Cox again refused.
On November 22, 2010, Thomas’ DNA sample was determined not to match the DNA of the fetus. Two days later, a judge signed warrants for DNA evidence from both Cox and Cassius Vaughn. Vaughn promptly complied (his sample was not a match); Cox avoided the police for several days.
After five days, police went to the Broncos facility and asked V.P. of security Dave Abrams and director of player development Harold Chatman to facilitate a meeting. They did, and the sample was collected.
The sample showed that Cox was the father of the baby.
We realize that Cox is innocent until proven guilty. But the 13-page affidavit, coupled with the DNA result, paints a picture that will be difficult for even lawyer Harvey Steinberg to overcome. The only real question at this point is whether the alleged victim was drugged, or whether she passed out. Either way, with Cox already locked in to the “I did not have sexual relations with that woman” defense, it will be virtually impossible for him to now claim that he did, but that she is lying about being passed out.
And while it’s impossible to know whether and to what extent this situation affected the Broncos during the 2010 season, the fact that four players were caught up in this mess, which started before the season and resulted in an arrest in December, surely didn’t help.