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Darrell Williams charged with rape

STILLWATER, Okla. -- Oklahoma State suspended starting
forward Darrell Williams on Monday after he was charged with four
felony counts alleging he inappropriately touched two women without
their consent.

Williams, 21, made a brief court appearance after he was charged
with one count of sexual battery and three counts of rape by
instrumentation. Several players, including fellow starters Keiton
Page and Jean-Paul Olukemi, came to the courthouse and sat next to
Williams in a packed courtroom or waited outside for his hearing to
finish.

"It goes without saying that we take the charges very
seriously," coach Travis Ford said in a statement. "Darrell will
not travel or play while the legal issues are addressed."

Williams did not stop to speak with reporters at the Payne
County Courthouse before leaving through a back door. His attorney,
Willie Baker, declined to comment.

Williams was not required to enter a plea, and his initial court
appearance was continued until March 7. He was freed on $5,000
bond.

According to court documents, Williams is accused of holding two
women against their will while he reached into their pants at an
off-campus party Dec. 12 that lasted into the following morning in
Stillwater. Two of the rape by instrumentation counts involve the
same woman.

Assistant District Attorney Tom Lee said two other men faced
related charges. Yayi Janneh, 22, was named in the police
affidavits containing the accusations against Williams and faced two felony
counts of sexual battery. Zach Thomason was charged with
unlawful possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

No other basketball players were charged, although the police
affidavits allege several attended the party and at one point
"surrounded" one of the women. Six players were on the prosecutors'
list of potential witnesses.

Williams, a junior, was averaging 7.1 points and 7.3 rebounds in
his first season at Oklahoma State after transferring in from
Midland College in Texas. He had started 12 of 23 games, including
the past six, and was named the Big 12's rookie of the week Monday
after he scored a career-high 18 points and had 12 rebounds in the
Cowboys' 81-75 win against Oklahoma on Saturday.

Assistant coach Chris Ferguson said he was unaware of the
charges against Williams when he substituted for Ford on the Big 12
conference call Monday morning.

"We'd be one down, so that would hurt anybody. Somebody else
would just have to step up, and that's why basketball is a team
game," Ferguson said. "We're going to find contributions from
other people if that indeed is the case."