Our Pledge To You

News

Judge orders UIC student released in ‘Fifty Shades’ sexual assault case

A University of Illinois at Chicago student accused of sexually assaulting a classmate was ordered released from the Cook County Jail Thursday after a judge determined prosecutors had failed to meet their burden of proof.

Judge Peggy Chiampas ruled there was no probable cause to hold Mohammad Hossain, 19, after listening to testimony from the student who accused him of sexual assault.

The judge did note that the state can still proceed with the case, seeking an indictment via grand jury if it chooses.

It became known as the “Fifty Shades of Grey” case because Hossain’s lawyers claimed the sex was consensual and the two were re-enacting a scene from the bondage-themed movie.

On Thursday, the woman testified that she met Hossain during a class in the fall of 2014 and the two “became friends with benefits.”

She said the two had sex “four or five” times in 2014 — including at least once in public campus facilities.

On Feb. 21, the 19-year-old woman said she went by herself to see the movie “Fifty Shades of Grey,” then met up with Hossain afterward and talked about the movie.

The two went back to Hossain’s dorm room in the 900 block of West Harrison, and after some conversation she agreed to remove her clothes and to be tied up.

The woman testified that the bondage became rough and she asked him to stop before and during sex.

Hossain’s lawyer, Joshua B. Kutnick, noted that the woman had previously consented to having her hands bound during sex, and during the Feb. 21 incident she never said she wanted to leave or screamed for help.

“The two of you were role-playing the movie,” Kutnick said.

“I didn’t see it that way,” the woman responded.

The woman testified that she stayed in the room for a short time, then walked home and contacted a friend, who called police for her.

The woman was taken to a local hospital, where sexual assault tests were preformed, she said. Photos of two bruises on her lower body were taken days later and presented in court as evidence.

Kutnick argued the sex was consensual and “no crime has been committed in this case.”

Judge Chiampas determined prosecutors failed to meet the minimum burden of proof, noting the state presented just the one witness and two photos.

Kutnick said Hossain was expected to be released from jail Thursday and would like to return to his dorm and classes at UIC.