Former JLS singer Oritse Williams has been found not guilty of rape.
The singer was accused of raping a 20-year-old waitress at a hotel in Wolverhampton after a performance in December 2016.
Today, Williams was unanimously cleared of rape at Wolverhampton Crown Court. His manager Jamien Nagadhana was also cleared of assault by penetration.
During the week-long trial, the singer had denied that he acted “like a sexual predator” and claimed that a sexual encounter with a woman at the Ramada Park Hotel had been consensual. He also said that he was being “taken advantage” of because his public image.
“The girl said she wanted to spend the night with me, I said no problem, we started making out,” he told police in an interview played out to the court.
“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.”
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Cleared..Not Guilty! Finally my brother @oritsemusic three years of hell is over! No-one will ever know or imagine what he’s been through..I’m just so proud of the way he conducted himself during what has been the most awful time..he is so strong and I know he can’t wait to start his life again now..We love you O ❤️
“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 female complainant had conversely claimed that the encounter was not consensual and she did not remember Williams “pulling down his trousers and putting on a condom”.
Williams reportedly clasped his hands together as the verdict was read out and said “thank you” to Judge Michael Challinor QC after leaving the dock. He also hugged two women in the public gallery and thanked the jury for their verdict.
Posting on Instagram after the verdict was announced, his former JLS bandmate Marvin Humes wrote: “Three years of hell is over! No-one will ever know or imagine what he’s been through..I’m just so proud of the way he conducted himself during what has been the most awful time..he is so strong and I know he can’t wait to start his life again now..We love you O.”