Oritse Williams has been found not guilty of rape.
The JLS singer was accused of raping a 20-year-old woman at a Wolverhampton hotel in December 2016.
On 24 May, the jury retired to consider their verdict, and today they returned their verdict of not guilty.
Williams’ friend Jamien Nagadhana, 32, was found not guilty of sexual assault by touching and assault by penetration.
Oritse, 32, denied behaving like a ‘sexual predator’ during the week-long trial, as he claimed a consensual sexual encounter had occured with the complainant at the Ramad Park Hall hotel in December 2016 and that he was being ‘taken advantage of’ because of his boyband fame.
On 20 May, the jury at Wolverhampton Crown Court heard Williams’ police interview in which he said: ‘The girl said she wanted to spend the night with me, I said no problem, we started making out.
‘I pulled out a condom for safe sex as I’m ambassador for safe sex, because of the alcohol I couldn’t perform too well, which is embarrassing to say.
‘We lay down and fell asleep and I can remember waking up to a knock at the door, it was the girl and she was with a male member of staff.
‘She said she wanted to look for her phone. She left and then I woke again in the morning to a knock at the door and it was the police.’
The police interview also detailed how he responded when he told about the allegations made by the woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons.
Williams went on: ‘I am feeling bewildered at this whole thing. I do feel taken advantage of. I just feel like a musician, an artist that has been put into a position where they have been taken advantage of.’
His accuser, a 20-year-old waitress who cannot be named for legal reasons, said in her police interview: ‘In the blink of an eye my pants were off. The whole time I was telling him to get off me, “f**k off”, but he was not having it.
‘He was making gross remarks about my body. I was crying, I could not comprehend it any more. It was horrible, not feeling like you have any self control in your body. It was really bad. I lay like a dead body for a bit. I just wanted it to be over.’
She added: ‘I was quite scared but not terrified. I felt more pathetic and weak. It kills your confidence. It kills everything. I felt worthless.’
While being cross-examined by Williams’ defence lawyer Mark Cotter QC, the woman insisted she and Williams did not have consensual sex.
She also claimed she did not remember Williams ‘pulling down his trousers and putting on a condom’.
Cotter argued that the sex was consensual and only came to an end because Williams was ‘embarrassed’ that he couldn’t perform.
Earlier, the court watched CCTV footage of Williams and three women, including the accuser, downing shots in the VIP area of Gorgeous nightclub where he hosted a club appearance hours before the alleged incident took place.
The wife of Williams’ former JLS bandmate JB Gill, Chloe, gave a statement to be read out in court, describing the singer as a man who ‘wears his heart on his sleeve and falls in love easily’.
‘He’s gifted, ambitious and very caring – his family mean everything to him, especially his mum. He’s a generally nice guy and I love to have him around. Oritse is a good listener, he’s like a mentor to my younger sister,’ it continued. ‘He’s always there for us.’
Chloe said that she had ‘seen him under the influence of alcohol several times’ and alleged that ‘alcohol makes him sleepy’, claiming she was left ‘in complete shock’ when she heard the allegation against him.
Oritse is best known for being one quarter of JLS, who rose to fame on The X Factor in 2008, coming second on the fifth series.
Along with bandmates JB Gill, Marvin Humes and Aston Merrygold, JLS sold over 2.3 million albums in the UK and gained number ons with Beat Again, Everybody In Love, The Club Is Alive, Love You More and She Makes Me Wanna.
The group disbanded after their final gig in December 2013.
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