After years of processing, a verdict has been reached in the case against former Vol football players A.J. Johnson and Michael Williams. And the jury of seven women and five men gathered in a Knoxville courtroom ruled on Friday afternoon that both Johnson and Williams were not guilty and have been acquitted on rape charges stemming from an incident over three years ago.
Both Johnson and Williams were indicted in February of 2015 on aggravated rape charges after a woman accused both men of raping her at Johnson’s apartment in the early morning hours of November 16th, 2014. The trial had been ongoing for years and faced several delays as new evidence was brought forth and new testimonies issued.
The trial began last week and began with four days of juror selections. Lawyers for both defendants rested their case on Friday without calling any witnesses, and prosecutors rested their case on Thursday.
Both Johnson and Williams were immediately suspended after the news broke that the two were being accused of aggravated rape. The two players were suspended prior to Tennessee’s match-up with Missouri, and both were eventually dismissed from the program and have not played collegiate or professional football since.
Johnson was Tennessee’s starting middle linebacker and a senior at the time, and Williams was a reserve defensive back.
“I trusted in God. He took care of it,” Johnson told reporters outside the courtroom per a report from the Knoxville News Sentinel.
We will bring you more relevant information on this case as it unfolds.