UPPER MARLBORO – Former University of Maryland basketball player Damonte Dodd was found not guilty of four charges, including rape, on the fourth day of court proceedings on June 13 relating to an incident that took place in 2017.
The jury only deliberated for two-and-a-half hours before clearing Dodd, 25, of all four charges, which included second-degree rape and second-degree assault. According to a police report, Dodd met the alleged victim at the Terrapin’s Turf Bar in College Park on October 31, 2017.
After buying her alcoholic drinks at the bar, she and Dodd left to a friend’s apartment, where the alleged rape occurred on Nov. 1. She reported the incident to officials five days later with Dodd admitting to having consensual sex with the accuser, according to the statement.
The former Maryland basketball player, who plays professionally with the Polish club GTK Gliwice, testified in open court that while the accuser had been drinking with him throughout the night, they had several conversations before their encounter and never said no before having sex.
“The fact that the victim, in this case, was intoxicated did not give Mr. Dodd the right to take advantage of her,” then-Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks said in the statement after Dodd was charged initially. “We will conduct a thorough investigation and ensure that he is held accountable for his actions.”
On the opening day of the court proceedings, the accuser testified she was already drunk before meeting Dodd at the bar and consumed cocaine as well. Video surveillance footage from Terrapin’s Turf and the Terrapin Row apartments show Dodd and the alleged victim being together before the alleged rape took place.
The accuser also said that she remembered telling the Centreville native that she did not want to have sex because she was drunk. Prosecutors argued that because the victim was intoxicated, under the influence of drugs and at one point, expressed her desire not to have sex, she could not agree to consent to the act while they were together.
“She did not have the mental capacity to consent, and that is rape,” said Melissa Hoppmeyer, an assistant state’s attorney for the Prince George’s County State’s Attorney’s Office during her closing argument. “He knew how drunk she was, and he just didn’t care.”
However, the defense used Dodd’s testimony to support the argument that the accuser did consent to having relations with the former college star. According to Dodd, it was the accuser’s idea to go back to the apartment and she continued to flirt with him after they arrived.
Jared Ungar and Peter Johnson, residents of the Terrapin Row apartment and friends of Dodd’s, also testified that she was not acting out of the ordinary other than her forcing herself to throw up in the kitchen before the alleged encounter.
“There are no crimes on the book for having drunk sex,” Defense Attorney Thomas C. Mooney said during his closing arguments.
Following the decision, Dodd said that he was thankful for the jury’s decision and happy that he can move forward with his life. After being charged, Dodd needed the court’s permission to travel to Poland to play basketball to resume his career, court documents show.
“It’s been rough,” Dodd said to the press after the ruling. “I just tried to keep a positive outlook on things, keep God first, and that has always been what I have done.”
Following the jury’s decision, current Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Aisha N. Braveboy said that the department will continue to “seek justice” for all sexual violence and rape victims.
“While we have successfully prosecuted many cases involving sexual assault, they are the most challenging,” Braveboy said. “However, we have the courage to take them on because we believe our victims.”