Nedrick's mother Simone McPherson relieved son acquitted of sexual assault chargesThursday, September 09, 2021
BY PAUL REID
MONTEGO BAY, St James - Simone McPherson, the mother of former Jamaican national track and field representative Kevin Nedrick, said she was “overwhelmed” with emotions last Friday when she got news that her son had been acquitted of sexual assault charges in the United States.
“It was a joy to my soul to know he was freed,” McPherson told the Jamaica Observer West earlier this week.
McPherson said she, her family, and his Petersfield High family had been praying since August 2020 when the 22-year-old was arrested and charged with third-degree criminal sexual conduct. Nedrick faced a minimum of 15 years in prison had he been found guilty of the charges he was facing since his arrest.
On Friday, a jury in the Hennepin District court in Minnesota, USA, returned a not guilty verdict and reports in the media said Nedrick, who holds two national junior records, broke down in tears when Hennepin District Judge Jay Quam read the verdict of not guilty on charges of third-degree criminal sexual conduct.
A report on the StarTribune website on Friday said both Nedrick and the alleged victim testified in a trial that began Tuesday, August 31 and ended with closing arguments two days later before being handed to a jury.
Nedrick, who was attending the University of Minnesota at the time, was accused of sexually assaulting another student at a birthday party near the campus.
McPherson, who said she spoke to him “every day” for the past year or so, said she was surprised when she first heard about the allegations.
“That was a bit shocking to me what they were saying as he is not that type of person,” she told the Observer West.
She said she was always confident that justice would be served and she thanked all who were involved, including Irwine Claire, CEO for the US-based Team Jamaica Bickle, the lawyers who represented him, as well as the well-wishers who she said kept in touch.
The report in the StarTribune said Nedrick, a shot putter who had attended Petersfield High School before going to Barton County on a track and field scholarship, then transferring to the University of Minnesota, “had testified that the alleged victim was hitting on him before the encounter, and broke down on the stand when he talked about the trial and the accusation.”
“I worked all my life to get here and it can be taken in a moment for something I didn't do,” he was quoted to have said.
The alleged victim also testified, saying Nedrick had overpowered her, pushed her into her bedroom, kissed her neck and penetrated her with his finger after she had told him to stop multiple times during a 10 to 15-minute encounter. The alleged attack occurred at the apartment where the party was held.
The report also said campus police were called about 1:15 am to the apartment about a possible sexual assault. The woman testified she was helping her room-mate, who was vomiting in the bathroom, when Nedrick overpowered her. She underwent a sexual assault examination at a hospital, where a nurse noted bruises on her left forearm and fresh marks on her neck.
The Inter-secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA) Championships and County of Cornwall Athletics Association (COCAA) Western Champs Class One shot put record holder represented Jamaica in both the shot put and the discus at the World Under-20 championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland, in 2016 and was a CARIFTA Games silver medallist that same year, as well as a silver and bronze medallist at the Pan Am Juniors in 2017 in Trujillo, Peru.