Lesley Nchanji was recently acquitted of charges he faced after an on-campus event in June 2017.
Two years after his arrest and expulsion from the university, former TU soccer player Lesley Nchanji has been acquitted on three counts of forcible sodomy and sexual battery.
In June 2017, Nchanji brought a 19-year-old female student athlete back to his on-campus apartment following a party. According to witness testimony, she was visibly intoxicated and incapable of consenting to sexual activity. Nchanji, 20 years old at the time, was then accused of sexually assaulting the woman.
According to Liz Eagen, the Tulsa Police detective in charge of the investigation, Nchanji’s story about the events of the night in question changed over time. After originally denying committing any act of sexual activity with his accuser, he later admitted to performing oral sex.
Assistant Public Defender Kelly Baldwin, who led Nchanji’s defense, claimed that it was the woman who suggested spending the night at his apartment, and that she had indicated a desire to have sex. Baldwin said that Nchanji had ceased sexual contact with the woman after she vomited, and that he had proceeded to wash her off in the bathtub (removing her shirt and bra) and give up his bed for her to sleep.
This explanation did not satisfy Assistant District Attorney Kenneth Elmore, who argued that Nchanji should have known better than to go forward with any sexual activity when it was clear that proper consent could not be given.
“The law is there to protect people from harm, from being violated,” Elmore said. He also told the jury that he wished they would make a decision that would send a message to women they they could enjoy themselves drinking without having to worry about the “sanctity of your body.”
Jurors announced they had found Nchanji not guilty after about two hours of deliberation on Friday, Feb. 15. Baldwin called it “a good day,” though still “a very sad story,” and said that the process had “caused irreparable harm to Lesley.”
A native of Cameroon, Nchanji faces deportation should he fail to have his Visa reinstated. He was not released the day of his acquittal because of a holding order issued by ICE due to the criminal charges brought against him.