Published1 day ago
A player for the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles has been acquitted of rape and kidnap charges.
Joshua Sills, 25, an offensive guard for the team, was found not guilty by a jury in Ohio following a five-day trial.
“I have done nothing wrong, and I am glad that was proven today,” Mr Sills said in court after the ruling.
Prosecutors had alleged that Mr Sills assaulted a woman in his pickup truck in December 2019.
The jury delivered its verdict after deliberating for roughly three hours on Friday.
The NFL issued a statement after the verdict: “We have notified the Eagles that Sills has been removed from the commissioner’s exempt list and is eligible to join the club.”
Mr Sills had been on the NFL’s exempt since February – less than two weeks before the team appeared in the Super Bowl – preventing him from participating in practices or games and removing him from the roster.
“[Mr Sills will now] be able to build his football career and grow as a person and be successful in all of the things that he chooses to do,” defence attorney Michael Connick said, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
“It’s unfortunate he was accused of this. It cost him a Super Bowl appearance. He will move on and live his life in a very honourable fashion.”
The Eagles said Mr Sills would return to the team’s active roster.
“We are aware that the legal matter involving Josh Sills has been adjudicated and he was found not guilty,” the team said in a statement.
Mr Sills originally joined the Eagles as an undrafted free agent.
He was a rookie for the team in 2022, and played in one regular game season this past year.