MADISON — Attorneys for Wisconsin wide receiver Quintez Cephus went on the offensive late Thursday morning in their effort to show their client was not guilty on the two felony sexual assault charges he’s facing.
“Quintez is innocent,” said Kathleen Stilling, one of Cephus’ attorneys. “There were three people in that bedroom that night and all three of them know the truth. We want all the facts to come out to establish the truth.”
With at least 15 supporters in the gallery, including former Badgers cornerback Derrick Tindal, Cephus made his initial appearance on charges of second-degree sexual assault of an intoxicated victim and third-degree sexual assault. The 20-year-old is accused of assaulting two different women on April 22.
The defense filed two motions prior to the hearing. One was to make sure prosecutors maintained certain pieces of evidence, including digital communications and surveillance video that they believe will show Cephus is innocent. That motion was granted by the court commissioner.
They also made a motion to dismiss the second-degree charge based on evidence not included in the criminal complaint.
“We are challenging some of the key facts in the criminal complaint because of evidence we have and that the state has,” Stilling said of the motion. “This evidence establishes Quintez’s innocence.”
The motion, obtained by the Wisconsin State Journal, states that surveillance video at Cephus’ apartment shows the two women not to be intoxicated and that one of the women texted Cephus later in the night, after the alleged assaults, asking him to look for her vaping device that she thought she left there. She reportedly ended the text with heart and kiss emojis.
“This criminal complaint is a slanted, one-sided version of the events,” Stilling said. “We look forward to getting out all of the facts and clearing Quintez’s name.”
Cephus was officially suspended from the team on Monday when the charges were filed. He was booked and released on a $5,000 signature bond. His preliminary hearing is set for Sept. 6.
His roommate and teammate, Danny Davis, has been suspended for the first two games of the season. Though not charged with anything, he is named in the criminal complaint. One of the alleged victims told authorities she remembers being on the floor and looking up to see Davis and Cephus taking pictures and laughing while she tried to get up.
“It’s like parenting in a sense. You know what’s the right thing,” coach Paul Chryst said when asked Wednesday about the Davis suspension. “This isn’t the first time that I’ve suspended someone. There are standards that you want to uphold and that’s OK. I think that’s good. When [the standard] doesn’t [get upheld], then you have to take actions.”