UFC welterweight Abdul Razak Alhassan has been found not guilty of sexual assault following the conclusion of his criminal proceedings on Friday in a case whose initial investigating officer deemed “strange.”
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According to Alhassan’s coach, Steven Wright, took to Twitter to announce the verdict, writing, “We just walked out of Court. Abdul Razak Alhassan is Not Guilty of all charges of sexual assault. We are free to go back to life.”
@lthomasnews @arielhelwani We just walked out of Court. Abdul Razak Alhassan is Not Guilty of all charges of sexual assault. We are free to go back to life @JudoRazak @AliAbdelaziz00 @danawhite @seanshelby
— Steven Wright (@steventhewarman) March 6, 2020
Wright also ‘tagged’ Alhassan, his manager Ali Abdelaziz, UFC matchmaker Sean Shelby, UFC President Dana White, and journalists Luke Thomas and Ariel Helwani in the tweet.
The Score’s Nick Baldwin confirmed the news on Twitter with the Tim Curry Criminal Justice Center, citing Alhassan’s attorney Brandon Bennett as saying, “He was very relieved. He’s looking forward to getting on with his life.”
Alhassan was on trial for sexual assault after being accused of raping two women inside one of the two’s homes after they had visited the Varsity Tavern in Fort Worth, Texas, where Alhassan worked as a bouncer. The alleged crimes were said to have taken place in March of 2018.
According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, citing testimony, the two women – aged 20 and 22, respectively – bringing accusations against Alhassan were at the bar for an off-duty police officer’s birthday party. There, witnesses say the women became intoxicated. Prosecutors alleged that Alhassan allowed the underage woman into the bar, only to have “extracted payment from the women by sexually assaulting them after taking them home.”
Prosecutors claimed that Alhassan was familiar with the elder of the women, who testified that she asked him to help get her friend into the bar, which restricted those under 21 years of age from entering after 9 PM.
Later that night, the elder woman kissed Alhassan and both women went to a back storage room with the Ghanan UFC fighter, according to court testimony.
Fellow nightclub employee Pedro Rocha testified that the three exited the storage room and that the women were “giggling and laughing all night,” which he said “comes with the drinking.” Rocha said “I could tell they had been drinking, but they didn’t look intoxicated,” though other witnesses would go on to say the women became more intoxicated later in the night.
According to Joshua Yates, the off-duty officer whose birthday it was, the women’s night at the bar ended with the pair on the stairs to the entrance. One woman was sitting with the other passed out on her lap, said Yates.
Yates said Alhassan asked him to help him get the women into a vehicle, though Yates testified that he was “too drunk to help.” Testimony would state that Alhassan was able to get the women into the car and drive them home.
The younger woman would go on to testify that she “did not know the man was in her bedroom until he pinned her down on the bed and pulled up her dress,” according to the Star-Telegram.
After allegedly sexually assaulting the first woman, Alhassan was accused of having “moved onto another bed where her friend was sleeping” and sexually assaulting her, too.
Alhassan’s defense attorney, Teri Moore, attempted to convince jurors that the alleged victims were lying about what had happened that night. Moore posed questions to the jury, asking why Alhassan would sexually assault two women in a home with a woman’s mother, stepfather, three elder brothers, and a future sister-in-law; or why his alleged victims would remain silent during and after the alleged attacks without calling to those aforementioned housemates for help.
Moore also took issue with the timing of the accusations, asking why the woman claiming to have been awake during the assault said nothing to police of her own alleged attack when her friend received a sexual assault exam. That alleged victim would go on to make her own report nearly a week later, which she cited as a result of trauma.
“Anytime these accusations are made frivolously, real rape victims are hurt by these BS stories. And this is a BS story if I’ve ever heard one,” said Moore, according to the Star-Telegram.
Law enforcement found Alhassan’s DNA in biological samples collected from each of the victims, according to Farah Plopper, a forensic data analyst at the University of North Texas Health Science Center. Alhassan told police that he had had consensual sex with one woman, but said he did not with the other, who had allegedly passed out from excessive drinking.
Moore alleged that the women were lying about the assault, proffering several theories explaining away Alhassan’s DNA being present “on and inside” the two women, which prosecutors contested. Moore alleged that one of the women made up the allegations against Alhassan to assuage a jealous and abusive boyfriend, to which prosecutors said “it would have been easier for the victims to say nothing because there would have been no way for a jealous boyfriend to know what really happened on that night in March had they said nothing.”
Following the reading of the verdict, attorney Brandon Barrett said, “There’s no winners in these cases,” Barnett said. “They are not fun for either side.”
Alhassan, 34, signed with the UFC in 2016 after amassing an impressive 6-0 record with six knockouts. In addition to frightening knockout power, the dynamic Alhassan also possessed an effective Judo.
Alhassan successfully debuted in the UFC, knocking out Charlie Ward in 53 seconds. He then suffered his first professional loss to Omari Akhmedov, but rebounded with three straight stoppage wins over Sabah Homasi – twice – and Niko Price.
The UFC has not publicly commented on Alhassan’s case since it began, and Alhassan has continued to appear to remain on the UFC roster. It is unclear what Alhassan’s fighting future will be.
Michael Fiedel is The Body Lock's deputy editor, a staff writer for FloCombat, and a Russell-Rice scholarship recipient at Vanderbilt University.