Two days after very loudly proclaiming his innocence and announcing he was taking a leave of absence, Wisconsin wide receiver Quintez Cephus was charged late last month with felony sexual assault of an intoxicated victim and felony sexual assault. The criminal complaint filed against him states that he allegedly “sexually assaulted two drunken women at once in the bedroom of his apartment in April.” The day after his arrest, Cephus’ lawyers filed a motion to dismiss the charges, claiming in part that surveillance camera footage and text messages paint an entirely different picture of the events that night.
Wednesday, Dane County (Wis.) Circuit Judge Jill Karofsky denied the defense team’s motion following a two-hour hearing, ordering Cephus to stand trial on the sexual assault charges. From the Wisconsin State Journal:
Karofsky … [found] that evidence that Cephus’ lawyers wanted her to consider created inferences about the case that conflict with the evidence that prosecutors have so far presented. Any competing inferences, she said, weigh in favor of the prosecution at this stage of the case, Karofsky said.
“Applying the law, I do not believe the complaint should be dismissed,” Karofsky said. “I do not believe you have met the requisite burden.
Cephus has previously stated that the sex was consensual and continues to maintain his innocence.
“I know the truth, they know the truth and I look forward to clearing my name and fighting for who I am,” the State Journal quoted the receiver as saying.
Fellow UW wide receiver Danny Davis was also named in the criminal complaint filed against Cephus. In that complaint, it was alleged that Davis took at least one photo of one of the women involved in the alleged assaults. Davis has not been formally charged in connection to the alleged assault.
Last season, Davis was fourth on the team in receptions (26) and receiving yards (418). He was tied for second with five receiving touchdowns. Cephus led the run-centric Badgers in receiving touchdowns with six and yards per catch at 16.7. His 501 receiving yards were good for second, while his 30 receptions were third on the team.
Both Cephus and Davis entered summer camp as the Badgers’ starting wide receivers.