After two women sued Browns running back Trent Richardson for allegations that he instigated their assault outside his home in December 2012, some pointed to the absence of criminal charges as proof that Richardson is blameless.
At the time, a representative of the Lorain County Sheriff’s Office explained that the alleged victims had not cooperated with the investigation. (Their lawyer disagreed.) Now, a prosecutor has confirmed that there will be no charges, absent additional information.
According to the Morning Journal, Elyria City Prosecutor Matt Mishak said that, due to conflicting statements, there was no probable cause to arrest Richardson. Mishak added that, absent new evidence, charges are unlikely.
Meanwhile, the lawsuit against Richardson was transferred from Cuyahoga County to Lorain County, a move that presumably occurred at the request of Richardson’s lawyers. It’s part of the games lawyers play as they try to position cases so they’ll be heard by judges and/or juries deemed to be more favorable.
The absence of criminal charges has no impact on a civil lawsuit, which is subject to a far lower standard of proof and can be filed without meeting any initial burdens like probable cause.