Former Team Tompkins fighter Kasheem “The Dream” Peterson was acquitted by a London, Ontario jury Tuesday of all charges against him stemming from an April sexual assault arrest in the city where he was staying for the month to help his then-coach Shawn Tompkins prepare Mark Hominick for his UFC 129 bout with Jose Aldo.
As the verdict was read out, Peterson, who had sat stone-faced throughout the trial nodded to the jury.
According to court records, it is alleged that Peterson and his accuser met at a local club and that both remained in the bar after closing where they snorted cocaine in the women’s bathroom. The alleged victim maintained that she felt uneasy around the fighter, but gave him a ride home anyway when he asked her to. Peterson contended she had made advances at him all night and that she drove him home with the intention of having sex, but wouldn’t go inside the house because she didn’t want any of the other fighters to see her there, so they drove to a parking lot where they could have more privacy. The victim stated that Peterson accused her of erratic driving because of the drugs and alcohol in her system and he grabbed the wheel and steered her vehicle into an abandoned lot. It was there that she claims he forced himself on her and wrestled with her in her SUV and choked her with a seatbelt while he sexually assaulted her. She testified that she got so fed up with his persistence that she threw her hands up in the air and told him to do whatever he wanted to her and to let her know when he was done.
Peterson was charged with sexual assault, choking and forcible confinement and has been in jail for the past eight months awaiting trial. When news of the charges broke, Tompkins condemned Peterson’s actions and dropped him from the team.
Part of the defense’s case hinged on the agreed upon fact that Peterson had sexual dysfunction issues that night and could not actually have intercourse as a result. His lawyer said that for a macho fighter like “The Dream” to admit such an embarrassing fact, he must be telling the truth about the rest of the story. The victim waited until mid-afternoon to go to police and hospital where she was treated for a cut on her finger and bruising on her arms and neck. Doctors did not find any trauma that would indicate that she was sexually assaulted.
The 29-year-old 4-1-1 welterweight who lives in Las Vegas and trains out of TapouT Training Center, will have another hearing with immigration in Windsor before being allowed to return back to the U.S. His court case cast a new light on a past criminal record that is rumored to be related to drug trafficking, and as a result the Canadian government may revoke his traveling rights to The Great White North.
“He’d been allowed into Canada on at least two or three previous occasions with no problem,” Peterson’s lawyer Brian Chambers told the London Free Press yesterday.”When these charges arose, Immigration took a different stance.”
Chambers expects that the immigration issue will be cleared up in two to three weeks, meaning in spite of the fact that he is technically a free man, Peterson will spend the holidays behind bars.