Wrongly accused Temple student talks to Action News

Watch report from Action News
February 28, 2014 8:46:47 PM PST
Temple University student Praise Martin-Oguike talks exclusively to Action News about his almost two year ordeal.

Martin-Oguike is the football player who was accused of rape and then cleared.

After what he says has been 22 months of hell, 20-year-old Temple football player Praise Martin-Oguike is back at Temple University and back on the team.

"It feels great to finally be back after so many years and everybody welcomed me. I'd like to thank the coach for all the support he's given me throughout this whole time," said Praise Martin-Oguike.

It was back in May of 2012 that Martin-Oguike was accused by a 21-year-old fellow student he was dating of raping and assaulting her.

He was stripped of his athletic scholarship, kicked out of Temple and vilified nationally and on the internet.

It wasn't until his lawyer, Jaime Funt, was able to secure his accusers phone and internet records that the truth was revealed and the charges later dropped.

His accuser did it out of spite because he refused to have a long term relationship with her.

"Just the fact that she would do that and make it up, for those people who actually get raped, that's pretty messed up," said Martin-Oguike.

It wasn't until after a day-long Student Conduct hearing at Temple that he was allowed to return to the University.

"And Praise's dream of being a football player and going back into medical school was reinstated on, of all days, MLK day," said Jaime Funt.

The young woman was never charged with any crime. Attorney Jaime Fund says that is almost never done. But if not for records of text messages, iChats and emails, the truth may never have come out.

"This is actually going be the future of all these cases," said Funt. "I mean, any attorney who doesn't immediately request cell phone information or Facebook information or any social media isn't doing their job, because it's all there."

Martin-Oguike says this ordeal has taught him a valuable lesson.

"It's just be careful who you trust. Don't trust people until you really get to know somebody, that's how I feel," he said.

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