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Attorneys for Bixby High School football players argue it was 'roughhousing,' not rape

Roughhousing and prankish were two words attorneys used to describe the sexual assault laid out in an affidavit filed Thursday by the Rogers County DA. (KTUL)

Attorneys representing the Bixby High School football players charged with second-degree rape downplayed the charges they faced Friday.

Lawyers claimed what happened was not sexual assault, but horseplay and that the victim wasn’t a victim at all.

Before the press conference began, attorney’s handed out a written statement to the media. Two words that stood out in the media release were “roughhousing” and “prankish.”

From the moment the room filled up, the press conference was heated.

“It sells papers and teases stories on TV that there’s some rape going on in Bixby,” said Attorney Clark Brewster. “Let’s look at the facts going forward.”

RELATED I New court documents show pattern of sexual assault involving Bixby football players

Roughhousing and prankish were two words attorneys used to describe the sexual assault laid out in an affidavit filed Thursday by the Rogers County DA.

"It is without question the allegations being made equating to a sexual assault are false, completely false," said Brewster.

The strategy was clear at the press conference – there was no sexual assault and there is no victim.

“First of all, there's no victim, all right?" said Brewster. "I will tell you that this is a series of roughhousing and literally playful acts that had been engaged in by these young men on the football team for not just years, but maybe more than a decade.”

RELATED I Bixby community says sexual assault charges may not be enough

“It was reciprocal, it was considered to be something that was not offensive, certainly not sexual," continued Brewster. "There was no sexual intent or any attribute that could be assigned to it."

Attorneys argued that everything that has been reported since November was wrong and that the Rogers County DA has been using affidavits to sway the public.

“The prosecutor and the investigators have, through a series of affidavits, used those affidavits as backdoor press releases to y’all,” said Attorney Paul DeMuro. “I’ve got a few probable cause affidavits of my own."

DeMuro is representing both player Joe Wood and his father, former Superintendent of Bixby Public Schools Kyle Wood. DeMuro passionately argued that Wood did nothing wrong.

“There was no cover up, the allegation was absurd,” said DeMuro. “The first day, the accuser made the statement to the school. The first day, Dr. Wood instructed his staff to call their mom. Is that a cover up? The mother, who is well-versed in these facts said, 'Don't call the police.' Is that a cover up? Why do you think the Bixby school board issued a statement condemning the investigation?”

When asked for proof that is was not a sexual assault, attorneys declined to answer, only saying that proof will come out soon.

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