Jury rules in favor of Dennis Rodman in civil sexual assault case

Updated: August 8, 2003, 5:02 PM ET

SANTA ANA, Calif. -- A jury in a civil trial issued divided decisions Friday in rejecting a woman's claim that former NBA star Dennis Rodman sexually assaulted her.

The panel voted 10-2 that Rodman did not sexually batter or inflict emotional distress on Jo Len Ann McGowen. It also held 9-3 that McGowen was not assaulted. The jury voted unanimously to reject McGowen's claims of false imprisonment and battery.

McGowen's attorney, Marcus Mancini, said he would appeal the verdict. He claimed evidence was allowed into the trial that had been excluded by the judge.

The suit alleged that Rodman drugged, raped and imprisoned McGowen in his Newport Beach home in March 2001. Rodman, 42, has been sued at least twice in the past for allegedly assaulting women.

McGowen, 39, alleged that she met Rodman at a Newport Beach restaurant that he co-owns and he gave her a beer laced with a narcotic. She claimed that Rodman then took her to his nearby home and raped her.

No criminal charges were ever filed against Rodman.

Rodman's attorney, John McKay, said the lawsuit was brought because his client is a celebrity.

"I do think he gets a lot of bad press," McKay said. "A lot of it's undeserved, and I think this is a very positive reaction."

Former Playboy model Tina New filed a $10 million lawsuit against Rodman alleging that he sexually assaulted her four years ago at his home. The suit was recently settled out of court. Criminal charges also were not filed in that case.

Rodman was a key member of the Chicago Bulls championship teams in the 1990s.

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index