MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) – On Thursday, the jury found Vasil Kokali not guilty of all charges.
A former student at Spring Hill College was charged with raping a fellow student in March 2021.
The jury made its decision after about 90 minutes of discussion.
Kokali was emotional after hearing this sentence.
He said, “It’s finally done, so I’m very happy.”
Speaking moments after his acquittal, Kokali fought back tears.
“I am just very grateful to God and the truth to finally come out and I am very upset that I had to go through all this. “I hope that what happened to me can help people who are falsely accused in the future,” Kokali said.
After hours of testifying for eight days, the jury found Kokali not guilty of rape, sodomy, burglary and other lesser charges.
The jury consists of seven women and five men,
Kokali, an Italian citizen on Spring Hill with a football scholarship, was accused of raping fellow student Audrey Cox in her dormitory room last year after a night out at Downtown Mobile. Cox had previously been public with his allegations.
Prosecutors say Kokali broke the law when he entered Cox’s room without her permission, took off her clothes and sexually assaulted her.
Prosecutors said Cox was unconscious and that Kokali had a model because another Spring Hill student had tested that he had sexually assaulted her months earlier.
The defense refuted all these allegations and claimed that college students were just drunk, going out and hanging out.
Megan Doggett, Kokali’s lawyer, said: “I think the jury saw it that way. It’s not illegal to have sex with someone while under the influence of alcohol. “
Assistant District Attorney Johanna Buchi acknowledged that the case had been a difficult battle from the start and that they respected the jury’s decision.
Buchi said Cox fell apart after the verdict.
“She has two emotional weeks. She has had an emotional 15 months since this happened and it all happened today. I think she learned a lot in this ordeal and will have to look up and just move on. She is a strong woman. She will do it, “Buchi said.
Bones was sentenced to life in prison 10 years ago.
Now that he is free, he said he plans to return to Italy.
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