Appeals court reinstates sexual assault conviction of ex Baylor player


The state’s highest criminal court reinstated the sexual assault conviction of former Baylor defensive end Sam Ukwuachu, which had been overturned last year.

The Court of Criminal Appeals ruled Wednesday that a lower court in Waco had erred in overturning the ruling.

Ukwuachu, a transfer from Boise State who was on the football team but never played, was convicted of sexual assault of a Baylor student in August, 2015.

His case made national headlines and led to an outside legal firm investigating the Baylor athletic department. It culminated in the termination of football coach Art Briles in May, 2016, and the reassignment and eventual resignation of school president Ken Starr. Ian McCaw, the athletic director, was reprimanded and then resigned.

Ukwuachu was sentenced to 180 days in state jail. But he’s been out on bail as his case works itself through the appeals system.

The 10th Court of Appeals overturned the original ruling, saying that several text messages, which could have been used as evidence, were excluded from the first trial. The messages were sent between the victim and a friend just before the assault occurred.



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