Jury finds former Spring Hill College student not guilty of all rape charges

MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) – A jury found Vassil Kokali not guilty of all charges on Thursday.

The former Spring Hill College student was charged with raping a classmate in March 2021.

The jury delivered its verdict after approximately 90 minutes of deliberation.

Kokali was moved after hearing this verdict.

He said: “It’s done, finally, so I’m just very happy”

Speaking moments after his acquittal, Kokali fought back tears.

“I’m just very grateful to God and for the truth to finally come out and I’m just very upset that I had to go through all of this. I hope what happened to me can help people who are falsely accused in the future” , Kokali said.

After hours of testimony over eight days, the jury found Kokali not guilty of rape, sodomy, burglary and other lesser charges.

The jury consisted of seven women and five men,

Kokali, an Italian citizen from Spring Hill with a football scholarship, was accused of raping fellow student Audrey Cox in her dorm last year after a night out in Downtown Mobile. Cox had previously gone public with his allegations.

Prosecutors argued that Kokali broke the law when he entered Cox’s bedroom without her permission, stripped her of her clothes, and sexually assaulted her.

Prosecutors said Cox was unconscious and Kokali had a pattern because another Spring Hill student testified that he sexually assaulted her months earlier.

The defense countered all of these claims and argued that it was all about drunk students, going out and meeting.

Megan Doggett, Kokali’s attorney said, “I think the jury saw it that way. It is not illegal to have sex with someone while you are under the influence of alcohol.

Assistant District Attorney Johana Bucci admitted the case was an uphill battle from the start and that they respected the jury’s decision.

Bucci said Cox broke down after the verdict.

“She had an emotional two weeks. She’s had 15 months of emotions since it happened and it all came to a head today. I think she learned a lot in this trial and she’s going to have to raise her head and keep moving forward. She’s a strong woman. She will,” Bucci said.

Kokali faced 10 years to life in prison.

Now that he is free, he says he plans to return to Italy.

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