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Russell’s lawyer: alleged victim consented to sex

By Justin Pritchard, The Associated Press
Wednesday June 12, 2002

ALAMEDA – Darrell Russell’s lawyer says the woman who has accused the Oakland Raiders defensive tackle of videotaping her allegedly being raped by two of his friends actually consented to the act. 

Attorney Cristina C. Arguedas argued Tuesday in court that the woman, who testified she blacked out after being given a drink mixed by Russell, consented to the recorded sex. The 28-year-old woman gave her consent while riding to the house at which the alleged attack took place, Arguedas said. 

Russell, a former No. 2 overall selection in the NFL draft, is charged with 25 felonies as an accomplice. 

Arguedas’ arguments came on the second day of Russell’s preliminary hearing in Alameda County Court. At the conclusion of the hearing, Judge Jeffrey Allen will decide whether there is sufficient evidence for a trial. 

If she blacked out during the car ride, Arguedas asked the 28-year-old woman, “How do you know you didn’t give consent?” 

“To my knowledge, I did not give consent,” the woman responded. 

On Monday, Arguedas accused the woman of being a “groupie” out for money. She got the woman to acknowledge that she plans to file a civil suit against Russell. 

“They go clubbing, they drink, they have sex,” Arguedas said. 

Russell’s accuser testified Monday she blacked out after Russell mixed her a drink and vaguely remembers later looking up at a video camera with “somebody on top of me.” 

The woman, who said she was dating Russell at the time of the alleged rape, was sometimes tearful and always guarded. She testified Russell called her and they arranged to meet at a San Francisco club the night of Jan. 31. 

She said she had been at the club for about an hour, and drank two complimentary cocktails — a Hurricane and a Long Island ice tea — when she spotted Russell with friends at a table. 

She said she was not feeling tipsy until Russell took a bottle of alcohol from the table and mixed her a “pinkish ... fruity” drink. 

Prosecutors have said they have evidence Russell drugged the woman. 

“I did not watch his every move of making the drink, but I know he did make the drink,” she testified. “I don’t recall anything much after that.” 

Until, she said, the following afternoon, when after waking up from a nap at work she had “a vision” of someone videotaping her. 

“The red light, the camera, and somebody on top of me,” she said.