Update: FSU running back Dalvin Cook has been reinstated on the football team.
Florida State University star running back Dalvin Cook said he’s ready to get back to the football field Monday night after a six-member Leon County jury found him innocent of battery.
“I’m just thankful and blessed that the truth came out, and it did, and I was represented by the best attorneys in the world. The truth just finally came out and I’m thankful.”
After a day-long trial, the jury took just 30 minutes to return the verdict.
Cook was suspended from the team indefinitely in June after 21-year-old Tallahassee cosmetology student Madison Geohegan accused him of punching her in the face and the head.
Geohegan testified she was leaving Clyde’s, a popular watering hole for lobbyists a block from the Capitol, after the 2 a.m. closing time when she became embroiled in an argument with Cook and several teammates.
She testified that Cook struck her once in the face and on the back of the head, knocking her against a truck.
Cook’s attorneys denied he struck Geohegan, but did not put their client on the stand.
Geohegan admitted she was “buzzed,” after drinking tequila sunrises at a nearby restaurant, and then at the bar. A friend who accompanied her that night, testified that she was also struck by Cook when she tried to shield Geohegan. However, she admitted she was drunk that night.
Assistant State Attorney Sarah Dugan showed jurors a photograph of Geohegan’s bloodied lower lip. But defense attorney Joey McCall argued that a 215-pound football player would have inflicted far greater damage.
According to testimony, Geohegan could not identify Cook in a photographic lineup she was shown that night after calling 911. Instead, she recognized him a few days later at a local restaurant.
Cook and the other players who there that night testified that they spent two hours at the bar without drinking.
Some of the strongest defense testimony came from 22-year-old Grant Jenkins, an FSU finance major who did not come forward until five days before the trial. Jenkins said he watched the argument from 20 feet away and never saw Cook strike Geohegan.
After the verdict, Dugan said she believed Geohegan was a credible witness.
Cook may not be out of the woods yet and could face a lawsuit. His attorneys said Geohegan has hired a civil attorney.