WACO, Texas — A Texas appeals court has overturned for a second time the sexual assault conviction of a former Baylor University football player whose case ignited a scandal that rocked the nation’s largest Baptist school.
The Dallas-based 10th Court of Appeals ordered a new trial for Sam Ukwuachu. It said prosecutors improperly used phone records in cross-examination interviews that hadn’t been submitted into evidence. The court said that created a “false impression” for the jury about witness testimony and violated Ukwuachu’s rights.
The same court had previously tossed Ukwuachu’s 2015 conviction, but it was reinstated by the state’s highest criminal appeals court last year.
Ukwuachu’s case sparked an uproar over how the school and football program handled assault reports. Coach Art Briles was fired, Baylor President Ken Starr was demoted and later resigned, and the school was hit with several lawsuits.
McClennan County prosecutors say they will appeal Thursday’s ruling.
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The Associated Press