RICHMOND, Va. -- Sources tell WTVR CBS 6 News that charges will be dismissed against Mo Alie-Cox after video surfaced that contradicts a woman's claim the VCU basketball player assaulted her at a nightclub after she made a comment the exit of former Rams head coach Shaka Smart.
That source tells WTVR CBS 6 that the assault and battery charge will be dropped after the video showed Cox had his back to the altercation for a part of the incident.
"That is t he strongest evidence you can have is an actual video tape of the incident," said CBS 6 Legal Analyst Todd Stone.
Stone said the video had to have given the prosecutors enough reasonable doubt that they were not comfortable going forward with the prosecution.
"This is a good example of why people are innocent until proven guilty," said Stone.
Richmond Commonwealth's Attorney, Mike Herring told CBS 6 the woman who made the allegation will not face charges because there is no evidence of intent to deceive.
Additionally, WTVR CBS 6 Sports Director Lane Casadonte reported that Cox will not face any discipline from VCU either.
The university released the following statements after learning the charges against the junior had been withdrawn.
“We have been informed by the Richmond Commonwealth Attorney’s Office they have determined that Mo had no involvement in the alleged assault and that the charges against him will be withdrawn," said VCU Director of Athletics/Associate Vice President Ed McLaughlin. "These actions confirm our knowledge and experience of Mo as an upstanding young man of the highest character who has represented our men’s basketball program and our university with exemplary leadership academically, socially and athletically. We look forward to watching him continue to represent VCU for the next two years as a member of our program.”
Additionally, VCU Head Men’s Basketball Coach Will Wade said he is happy Alie-Cox can put the "allegation behind him."
"After speaking with Mo and gathering all of the facts on this situation, we believed and hoped that his name would be cleared," Wade said in a statement "From the time we began recruiting Mo four years ago, he has always carried himself the right way with terrific grace and humility.”
On April 30, a woman accused Alie-Cox of punching her during an argument at Society Nightclub in Richmond's Shockoe Slip. The accuser, who did not appear in court for a hearing last week, reported the incident three weeks after it happened.
The delay in reporting raised questions for legal analyst Todd Stone, who spoke to WTVR CBS 6 about the case last week.
"Her waiting 19 days means that if she did have injuries and did not take pictures you are going to question whether or not she had the injuries," Stone said. He added unless there was strong evidence, prosecutors could ask the woman to drop charges. If charges were not dropped and the case goes to trial, Alie-Cox could face up to 12 months in jail, according to Stone.
The woman who accused Alie-Cox of assault and battery detailed the incident in a criminal complaint filed in Richmond court. The woman said it began when she walked by a group of men and another woman at Society in Shockoe Slip. The other woman, she said, told her not to look in her direction.
“I said I could look where ever I pleased and she responded with a comment I did not here [sic] and got in my face,” the complainant wrote in the court document. “A VCU basketball player made a comment with me responding ‘it’s not my fault Shaka Smart left. Is that why your [sic] mad?'”
Former VCU head basketball coach Shaka Smart had just informed his team he would be leaving the university to take a job with the University of Texas. That was the night of April 2. Smart left VCU and flew to Texas on April 3.
After the Shaka Smart comment was made, the complainant said the other woman shoved her. The complainant said she then accidentally grabbed the other woman’s hair. That is when Alie-Cox allegedly entered the picture, the woman said.
“Mo Alie-Cox punched me in the face,” she wrote in the criminal complaint. “I went to the bouncer to ask for help and Mo Alie-Cox left.”