Vassil Kokali, former Spring Hill College footballer, found not guilty of rape

MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) – A jury in a Mobile County courtroom has found the former Spring Hill College football star not guilty of rape after an 8-day trial.

Vassil Kokali, an international student from Italy who was studying at Spring Hill College on a football scholarship, was found not guilty in Mobile County District Court on three counts, including first-degree rape, first degree sodomy and burglary.

The jury, made up of 7 women and 5 men, deliberated on Thursday afternoon after the prosecution and defense had delivered their closing arguments earlier in the morning.

Four substitutes, 3 men and 1 woman, were revoked before the start of deliberations.

The jury reached a unanimous verdict after deliberating for about an hour and a half.

The trial began on June 7.

Kokali was accused of raping fellow student Audrey Cox in her dorm in March 2021 after a night out drinking downtown.

Typically, in rape cases, we don’t identify the victim, but Cox has spoken out and spoken with WKRG in the past about the allegations.

Defense attorneys Megan Doggett and Dom Soto argued that the sexual encounter between Kokali and Cox was consensual. They presented evidence that Cox had asked Kokali to come back to her dorm on the night in question and have sex with her.

The evidence presented by the defense at trial was also aimed at undermining Cox’s character. The defense portrayed Cox as a party girl who lacks credibility.

They showed video of Cox during the trial, which was taken about a year before March 21, which showed Cox and others at Spring Hill College using recreational drugs.

Doggett also argued that Cox launched a fake social media campaign against Kokali to smear his reputation and become a “Me Too” champion.

Prosecutors presented evidence that the sexual encounter was intense, at one point showing an extension cord with blood on it that was analyzed and linked to Kokali’s DNA.

Kokali’s lawyers testified that he fell out of bed while changing position and cut his foot, causing it to bleed.

Cox’s television was also projected onto the floor of his dorm.

Prosecutors also argued that Cox was too drunk to consent to sex with Kokali that night.

They showed surveillance video of her entering her residence after returning from the bar which depicted her as inebriated.

Prosecutors also called a student on the stand who testified that he helped Cox get home that night because he thought she was too drunk to go to her dorm.

Kokali and Cox spoke during the 8-day trial and testified to the details of that night.

This is a developing story.

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