Crime & Courts

Ex-Cowboy Randle bound over for trial in woman’s rape; he says ‘she never said no’

Joseph Randle’s criminal cases have been on hold for more than a year while his ability to understand court proceedings and assist in his defense has been in question.
Joseph Randle’s criminal cases have been on hold for more than a year while his ability to understand court proceedings and assist in his defense has been in question. Courtesy of the Sedgwick County Jail

Ex-Dallas Cowboys running back Joseph Randle has been bound over for trial following a preliminary hearing on charges tied to a woman’s alleged rape last year — but he won’t be able to enter a plea in the case for another two weeks.

Although Randle wanted to be arraigned immediately, his apparent confusion in court over what was involved led Sedgwick County District Court Judge Kevin O’Connor to postpone that part of the proceeding until Feb. 25. Randle is accused of raping and otherwise sexually assaulting a woman for around three hours at her apartment on Sept. 6, and other crimes. Tuesday morning, during the preliminary hearing, the woman testified that Randle punched her and forced her to have sex with him without her consent after he drank most of a bottle of apple-flavored Crown Royal whiskey. She said she’d invited him to her home but he later refused to leave.

She eventually escaped the assault, she testified, by running half naked out of her patio door and knocking on neighbors’ doors after midnight, trying to find help. A man she lived near but didn’t know loaned her a shirt, shoes and his phone so she could call 911. The Wichita police officer who arrested Randle testified Tuesday that he could smell liquor on him.

Last year, O’Connor barred Randle from drinking, being out past midnight and committing new crimes when he ordered the ex-NFL player serve five years of probation for hitting Wichita party-goers with his car during a fit of anger in 2016. The judge ruled Tuesday that Randle broke those rules when he was at the woman’s apartment in September.

The Eagle does not identify people who make allegations of sexual assault without their consent.

Randle, who appeared in court with two court-appointed defense attorneys, vehemently denied that the woman was sexually assaulted, blurting out: “She didn’t tell me” and “She never said nothing. She never said no. So how am I supposed to know?”

He insisted on going to trial as quickly as possible over the objections of his defense attorneys, telling the judge: “I don’t feel like the proof is enough to go forward in this case.” The judge repeatedly admonished Randle for talking out of turn.

Randle’s attorneys, meanwhile, contended he isn’t competent to stand trial at this time. O’Connor disagreed but noted that Randle’s ability to understand the charges could be called into question in the future.

He’s already had several mental health exams.

Randle, 27, is charged with 11 counts including rape, aggravated criminal sodomy, aggravated kidnapping and aggravated battery in the case – the latest in a string of legal problems since the Cowboys released him in 2015. He’s spent most of the past three years in jail in Wichita, his hometown.

He’s expected to plead not guilty when he is arraigned on Feb. 25.

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Amy Renee Leiker has been reporting for The Wichita Eagle since 2010. She covers crime, courts and breaking news and updates the newspaper’s online databases. You can reach her at 316-268-6644. She’s an avid reader and mom of three in her non-work time.