Follow CBSMIAMI.COM: Facebook | Twitter
TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/AP) — It’s looks like the Florida State Seminoles star running back may be heading for a return to the roster.
Florida State running back Dalvin Cook was found not guilty on Monday of punching a woman who testified that he had also said he would be able to buy her in a couple of years once he went pro.
The seven-member jury delivered its verdict after a one-day trial Monday that included the testimony of the alleged victim, one of her friends and several of Cook’s teammates. Cook had been charged with misdemeanor battery.
Just hours after the not guilty finding, Florida State lifted Cook’s indefinite suspension. He is now eligible to begin practicing with the team immediately.
Cook’s attorney, Joey McCall, told the jury in closing arguments that the evidence and testimony “just didn’t add up.”
But prosecutor Sarah Dugan said that what didn’t make sense is why the woman would make the story up.
Madison Geohegan testified Monday that she began arguing with a group of football players after one of them called her a whore and she replied, “If I’m a ho, your mom’s a ho.” At first Cook tried to calm the group by telling everyone to “chill out,” she said. Geohegan described him as nice at first.
But she testified that he became angry when she pushed Florida State wide receiver Travis Rudolph and when she told the group she wasn’t impressed that they were players. She told them she was dating Auburn defensive back T.J. Davis.
Geohegan told the jury that Cook shouted, “We can buy you in two years! Google me!”
“I said, ‘Everyone’s on Google,'” Geohegan testified. She said that is when Cook punched her. She said a group of players held him back while he kept flailing at her. Her friend, Keara Lubeskie, testified that Cook also hit her in the side as he was trying to punch Geohegan again.
McCall tried to discredit the story by saying both girls were drunk, that Geohegan never sought medical attention and that she told police in the days after the incident that she didn’t want to pursue charges. He said that she also told police at first that she had been attacked by a group of players, not just Cook.
McCall repeatedly questioned whether Geohegan would only suffer a cut lip if a 215-pound football player punched her.
Tallahassee police officer Matthew Smidt agreed that her injuries weren’t severe.
“To me, no it did not look like she got hit by a fist in the face,” Smidt said.
While Cook lawyer Ricky Patel told jurors he wanted them to hear Cook’s side of the story, he persuaded Judge Augustus Aikens Jr. not to allow jurors to hear a recording of an investigator interviewing the player about the incident.
Cook, 20, led Florida State last year with 1,008 rushing yards as a freshman. He was also second on the team with eight touchdowns. Cook rushed for 177 yards and a touchdown and caught five passes for 43 yards in Florida State’s 37-35 victory over Georgia Tech to win the ACC championship.
He also rushed for 103 yards in Florida State’s 59-20 loss to Oregon in the Rose Bowl.
He has been suspended pending the outcome of the trial. Florida State opens the season Sept. 5 against Texas State.
While Geohegan described herself as “buzzed” after drinking a margarita and a tequila sunrise, she said she wasn’t so drunk that she couldn’t clearly remember details of the June 23 incident.
She says she didn’t know his name that night, but the she saw him at another bar three days later and he smirked at her. She says she and Lubeskie looked at Rudolph’s Instagram account and spotted a photo of Cook, which they shared with police.
Police then showed Geohegan a lineup of six photos. It contained Cook’s driver license photo and those of five others who look similar to him. She immediately pointed out Cook and told officers she was 100 percent certain it was the man who hit her.
(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)