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Crime

Derrick Rose and Friends Cleared of Gang Rape Accusations in Civil Trial

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Mary Altaffer/AP

NBA star Derrick Rose was cleared Wednesday in a civil lawsuit brought by an ex-girlfriend who accused him and two of his friends of drugging and gang-raping her in 2013, PEOPLE confirms.

Rose’s friends were also found not liable by the jury, a federal court source tells PEOPLE.

(In contrast to criminal trials, there is no finding of guilty or not-guilty — only liability or the lack thereof.)

The eight-member jury found that, based on the evidence, the woman consented to the sexual encounter, according to the Los Angeles Times. They deliberated for about three hours.

Neither Rose nor his friends has been charged in connection with the woman. In September, Los Angeles police said they were investigating the accusation, and a spokesman tells PEOPLE the investigation remains open.

In a statement to the Associated Press, Rose said, “I am thankful that the jury understood and agreed with me. This experience and my sensitivity to it was deep. I am ready to put this behind me and focus on my family and career.”

The woman, identified in court papers as Jane Doe, had alleged that Rose and his friends drugged her drink at his Beverly Hills home on Aug. 26, 2013, and later showed up at her apartment and assaulted her while she was passed out.

Her attorneys reportedly called it a “classic gang rape.” But Rose’s attorneys adamantly denied the allegations, likening them to extortion, and said the two were in a consensual sexual relationship.

The fiercely contested question in the trial was not whether Doe had sex with the three men — which they did not deny — but whether she consented or was able to do so, according to the AP.

In a previous statement to PEOPLE, Rose lawyer Mark Baute called the woman’s claims “completely false and without any factual basis.”

In her lawsuit, filed last year in Los Angeles Superior Court for $21.5 million, Doe said she met Rose in October 2011 at a party he hosted in Los Angeles during the NBA lockout and began communicating with him through text messages. They started meeting up regularly over a two-year period, she said.

During that time, Doe alleged in her suit, Rose asked her many times to involve other people, including strippers and other couples, in their sex life. Two months before the alleged rape, she claimed that Rose asked her to have sex with him and Hampton at the same time but she refused.

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According to the lawsuit, she didn’t come forward earlier because of her relationship with Rose.

“She also, perhaps innocently, felt that he was guided by his desire to impress his friends and did not wish jail time for him,” according to her suit.

During testimony in the suit earlier this month, Doe wept openly in court.

But the defense reportedly said “there was no rape at all” that night and Baute, in his earlier statement, dismissed Doe’s accusations as a “shake down.”

“This is nothing more than a desperate attempt to shake down a highly respected and successful athlete,” he said. “Mr. Rose was in a non-exclusive, consensual sexual relationship with the plaintiff for over two years.

“The plaintiff expressed no complaints about Mr. Rose until various lawyers began to surface and demand that the plaintiff be paid millions of dollars.”

Neither Baute nor Doe’s attorney, Waukeen McCoy, immediately responded to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

• With CHRISTINE PELISEK