BALTIMORE – A jury on Thursday found the director of security for the Baltimore Ravens not guilty of charges that he groped a stadium worker after a game.
Darren Sanders was acquitted of second-degree assault and a fourth-degree sex offense stemming from accusations that he inappropriately touched a woman who works for a cleaning crew contracted with M&T Bank Stadium after a game in December.
The woman told jurors that Sanders appeared drunk and touched her buttocks multiple times despite her repeated requests that he stop. The Associated Press generally doesn't identify alleged victims of sexual assault.
Sanders denied the allegations and told jurors the worker approached him and asked for his phone number, but he rebuffed her advances. Sanders said he never touched the woman.
"It's a shame Mr. Sanders had to go through all this," said Andy Alperstein, Sanders' attorney. "It was a very difficult time for him and his family, and we're very pleased the right thing happened."
During closing arguments Thursday, prosecutor Gavin Patashnick told jurors that the trial revolved primarily around power, and that Sanders, a man in an important position for a high-profile corporation, leveraged his influence to exploit a hard-working woman who was vulnerable.
But Alperstein told jurors that Sanders "didn't do a darn thing" and "has nothing to hide."
"When people make things up, they make it up for a reason," Alperstein said. "This woman thinks she's found her lottery ticket."
The trial lasted three days, with the fourth day dedicated to closing arguments and jury deliberation.